State-owned Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Israeli battery developer Phinergy on 17th March 2021 formalised a joint venture to manufacture ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
IOCL and Phinergy will be equal partners in this new joint venture called IOC Phinergy Pvt. Ltd.
Aluminium based Metal-Air Battery Technology by Phinergy
Phinergy’s metal-air battery uses Aluminium / Zinc as anode and air as cathode, along with a liquid electrolyte. In the case of Aluminium-based metal-air batteries, Oxygen from the air combines with Aluminium to create Aluminum Hydroxide, which activates the electrolysis process and creates an electric current. These batteries are lighter and compact, with high energy density.
Expressing his views Indian Oil Chairman, Mr. S M Vaidya said “This will help overcome most of the challenges facing EVs including range anxiety. Al-Air technology will help us overcome most of the current challenges for e-Vehicles and address most of the potential customers’ pain-points, including range anxiety, higher cost of purchase, and safety issues … This technology will also boost India’s existing Aluminum industry“.
Indian Oil and Phinergy’s Past Association and Future Plans
IOCL had in February last year acquired a minority stake in Phinergy Ltd., foreseeing the scope of innovative technology introduced by the Israeli startup. The new joint venture, IOC Phinergy Pvt. Ltd. is a step ahead in this direction to bring this technology in India to manufacture Aluminium-air systems using mostly recycled Aluminium.
Aluminium is abundantly available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also well established.
In the same virtual event where the JV was incorporated, Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland signed a letter of intent (LOIs) with the IOC Phinergy Ltd. to buy batteries as soon as production starts.
IOC Phinergy Ltd. will set up a factory in India to manufacture Aluminum-air batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications. The details about factory location and size have not been disclosed.
Speaking on occasion, Union Oil Minister Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan said “The joint venture will help India in its journey towards clean, sustainable, affordable, safe and long-lasting energy options and facilitate much faster adoption of e-vehicles in the country”.
About Phinergy: Founded in 2008, Phinergy develops an assortment of zero-emission batteries including aluminum-air and zinc-air batteries designed to offer power sources for electric cars.