We are looking at indigenisation of lithium-ion cells

  • Industry News
  • Jul 30,22
Puneet Jain - the founder of Natural Battery Technologies (a lithium ion battery manufacturer) - is a chain innovator and entrepreneur with seven years’ experience in business leadership, start-ups and nurturing technology. Focusing on delivering value through product and process innovation, his company caters to the growing market of environment friendly fuel supply. In this interview, Puneet Jain highlights on the growth drivers of lithium ion battery mrket.
We are looking at indigenisation of lithium-ion cells

Puneet Jain - the founder of Natural Battery Technologies (a lithium ion battery manufacturer) - is a chain innovator and entrepreneur with seven years’ experience in business leadership, start-ups and nurturing technology. Focusing on delivering value through product and process innovation, his company caters to the growing market of environment friendly fuel supply. In this interview, Puneet Jain highlights on the growth drivers of lithium ion battery mrket.

How has Natural Battery Technologies evolved since its inception in 2019?

Natural Battery Technologies (NBT), at its core, has always been about innovation since its inception and has been evolving; we are developing high-performance batteries with increased safety parameters, customs energy storage systems, solar energy storage systems, battery management system (BMS), and many others. Today, Natural Battery Technology is the leading manufacturer of lithium-ion-based battery products such as Lithium-Ion Batteries, Lithium-Ion Cells, LiFePO4 Cells, battery management systems, solar home lighting systems, battery packs for solar street light, solar home lighting systems, energy storage systems (UPS & inverter) & other portable devices.

Could you please brief us about the manufacturing footprint of Natural Battery Technologies? 

The majority of components of any battery are comprised of the cells that are welded together to make the battery pack; this takes up to 60-70% cost of the battery pack. Since India doesn't have any facility for making lithium-ion cells, and the resources are pretty scarcely available, the country faces a dependence on international manufacturers. We, at NBT, have strived to maintain a good relationship with our suppliers and have given them regular business; further, we do procurement agreements with them so that they are secure in their capacity production, and we are also secured in getting the material at the right time.

Which industries (end-users) are you serving with your lithium-ion batteries?

Natural Battery Technologies is spearheading the two-wheeler EV space with its high-performance and swappable batteries across e-bikes and e-scooters. Moreover, the next move is to expand into solar power harnessing. NBT has already designed solar street light batteries, which can last much longer than lead acid batteries.

There are many lithium-ion battery makers in the country. What differentiates Natural Battery Technologies from its competitors?

Through our quality control and inspection, we carefully select materials that are used for manufacturing batteries. We do complete simulation and analysis of the packs and this gives us the edge to go beyond conventional designs and come out with unique and innovative battery designs which are safe with complete protection and thermal management materials and provisions. We have connected batteries as well which allows us to pull data and do predictive maintenance.

How are EVs driving the demand? What are your plans to tap the EV industry?

Batteries are the central part of EVs, and the growth in EVs demand will consequently cause an upsurge in li-ion battery demand. India’s annual battery market could surpass $ 15 billion by 2030, and the battery demand in India is expected to rise to 260 GWh in the ‘accelerated scenario’ by 2030, as per a report by Mercom India.

What is the potential of the lithium-ion batteries industry?

Li-ion batteries have multiple uses among various types of electric vehicles, such as in EV cars, hybrid vehicles, electric motorcycles, scooters, electric bicycles, personal transporters, and advanced electric wheelchairs. They are also extensively used across different aircraft. Li-ion batteries were also used in the Mars Curiosity rover. More niche uses include backup power in telecommunications applications. Lithium-ion batteries are also frequently discussed as a potential option for grid energy storage.

What are the key hurdles in the path of the lithium-ion batteries market in India?

NBT has started getting the peripherals of the battery sub-components being manufactured here, such as plastics, containers, welding connectors, insulation papers, and other materials required to build a battery. We aim to source most of the components from India, including our BMS that we are actively working on designing as Indian standards, except for the cells which, in the near future, we believe India will have the capacity to produce. But meanwhile, we aim to indigenise all the other battery components.

For key inputs (raw materials/components) required for Li-ion batteries, we are still dependent on imports. Is the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme helping in this direction?

PLI is definitely a push by the government to bring the price parities with international manufacturing of cells. Lesser import duties and procurement assistance by the government will help India get the required resources not readily available within the country. Through the PLI scheme the Union government aims to install manufacturing capacity of 50 gigawatt hour (GWh) of Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC) and 5GWh capacity of “Niche" ACC. ACCs are essentially lithium-ion cells.

Any new product in the offing?

Solar powered inverter battery backup, non-lithium based ultrafast charging batteries, automotive starter batteries, biomedical batteries and large scale Energy Storage Systems design and development. They can be used to power up TVs, ACs, heaters, computers, microwave oven, and various other devices without interruptions and, at the same time, provide you with a great opportunity to save the monthly electricity cost.

What are your growth plans?

The company aspires to participate actively in the indigenisation of lithium-ion cells and the current prevalent chemistry. The company has researched new chemistries that are competitive with lithium-ion cells, which have higher safety and longer cycle life. NBT is exploring the cell-level chemistries of cell cathodes & anodes. We wish to develop proprietary chemistry shortly so we can mass produce it and deal in contract manufacturing.


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