Lithium-ion Battery: Is It Really The FUTURE Of Automotive Batteries?


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In the past decade, India has been facing an acute problem of air pollution, and the situation is even worse in urban cities with the rising air quality index.

Many experts blame the rapid increase in passenger vehicles as one of the primary reasons for this crisis. To some extent, they are right because India’s automobile market is mainly dependent on fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) resulting in higher toxic output in the environment. India uses natural gas as an alternative to petrol and diesel but, the availability of CNG outside metro cities is still scarce. The huge infrastructure cost associated with the setting up is also a major hurdle in expansion.

As a result, the Electric Vehicle (EV) is a quick proof and sustainable solution to the growing menace of environmental pollution. EVs are often praised for green and clean mobility. It is the so-called future of automotive mobility, and it will help us in the cause to fight air pollution till a large extent.

Industries are coming forward to work on effective measures, and develop new technologies that can shape the future of the automobile industry. Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) cars; the backbone of EVs is the battery technology used in them. Today, most of the EVs coming out in the market use Lithium-Ion as the primary source of energy to spin the wheels. Lithium-ion cells have the potential in terms of reductions in carbon emissions and energy sustainability. 

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They are considered one of the most stable sources for a battery having the least charging time and requiring low maintenance relative to other available battery technology. Additionally, the self-discharge role of Lithium-ion cells is significantly lower than any other rechargeable cell.

Lithium is a critical element used in the battery technology that underpins much of the world’s consumer electronics, electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

New researches are being conducted to make Lithium Ion cells more powerful and durable. In a recent study by Stanford University, researchers demonstrated how Lithium Metal cells could become a promising technology for powering Electric Vehicles. 

A lithium metal battery can hold about twice as much electricity per kilogram as today’s conventional lithium-ion battery. Lithium metal cells achieve this by replacing the graphite anode with lithium metal, which stores significantly more energy. Auto companies worldwide are heavily investing in battery development. This can bolster the strong demand for lithium-ion batteries.

Even in the energy storage space, India is making great strides and the active participation of the government has further strengthened the industry’s determination to store renewable energy sources. 

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Lithium batteries require a high level of environmental control while assembling and manufacturing. The production must be undertaken in very critical and controlled (Dry Room) environment conditions. Non-maintenance of the desired RH during lithium cell manufacturing (<1%) and battery assembling (<10%) may lead to severe consequences including reduced quality, bad performance, and increased chances of explosion. Dehumidification or moisture control solutions, has proven itself to be a critical factor in the control of the environment in the Dry Rooms without which lithium battery manufacturing is not feasible. These rooms are equipped with moisture control equipment’s that help in achieving extremely low dew point [up to (-) 80℃] control for all the hygroscopic and moisture sensitive material processing.

In today’s context, dehumidification products and solutions are playing an active role in India’s EV push and energy storage mission too. Partnering with battery manufacturers/assemblers and the environmental control solutions offered by local players is instrumental in making quality, safe and reliable lithium batteries in India. 

In the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the narrative for Lithium-ion batteries will grow further. Lithium-Ion battery manufacturers are today the most vulnerable and hence, driving the high requirement for Dry Rooms in India. There is a need for more investment from able manufacturers. India as a market has enormous potential to ramp up the scale, and make India a self-reliant country in this space.

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To bridge the gap for lithium batteries in India, companies like Bry-Air are supplying fully built Dry Rooms with environment control equipment and low dew point dehumidifiers to some of the leading  Indian organizations and MNCs. The vast experience, technical know how and successes in providing low dew point dehumidification equipment  across the Globe including China has only helped strengthen the confidence. With the government pushing to become the EV first nation by 2030, the local manufacturers are fully geared up to serve the nation. 

By Deepak Pahwa – Managing Director, Bry-Air (Asia)

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