India’s first-ever Li-ion cell fabrication workshop held in Pune

India’s first-ever Li-ion cell fabrication workshop held in Pune

- By Shraddha Kakade

While the Government of India has strongly pushed for faster adoption of electric vehicles and the manufacturing of advanced energy storage technologies in India, organizations committed to the cause of technology-driven sustainable and holistic mobility transformation aren’t too far behind.

India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), an alliance that works in the area of energy, advanced energy storage and electric mobility along with the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) successfully concluded India’s first-ever Li-ion fabrication workshop in Pune today.

The first-of-its-kind two-day workshop was designed by IESA experts to assist industry understanding of the Li-ion cell manufacturing process. The participants, which included, several battery systems providers and manufacturers in India learned about raw materials required, equipment and detailed process of Li-ion cell manufacturing through a mix of hands-on lab training and expert lectures.

“At IESA, we believe that it is high time for the Indian industry to take up R&D and advanced cell manufacturing so that we reduce our dependence on other countries,” said Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President of IESA.

"The recent pandemic related to COVID19 has highlighted the importance of domestic manufacturing considering the risk of global supply chain disruptions. Energy storage and EVs have importance for national energy security and we should learn from the recent events and accelerate our efforts for building domestic capabilities,” Dr. Walawalkar added.

The Hands-on Li-ion Cell Fabrication workshop included practical lab training for pouch cell fabrication, preparation of cathode ink and coating on current collectors of electrode fabrication, battery testing and criteria for cell selection. It also included presentations on cell manufacturing, chemistries and performance characteristics, and next-generation Li-ion technologies.

“They had a good study of cell-chemistries, good technical knowledge, and test equipment,” said Srinivas Badam, one of the participants of the workshop. IESA should have more joint ventures with other organizations and OEM’s so many more can benefit from this, Badam added.

Li-ion batteries are extremely important to the e-mobility and stationary storage sector due to several advantages of Li-ion battery chemistries. In India, a growing number of battery pack manufacturers are now assembling high capacity packs to meet the needs of fast-evolving electric vehicles and stationary storage market. 

 “It is our responsibility to support the industry so that India can pick up Li-ion manufacturing instead of depending on other countries,” said Dr. Bharat Kale, Director of Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology. “India’s first workshop by IESA along with CMET is a step towards it. We thank MeitY for creating such a facility and further [Li-ion fabrication] initiative in this regard at CMET Pune,” Dr. Kale added.

Dr. Satyajit Phadke, Manager R&D, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) who led the workshop stressed that such training so far were only available in developed countries like Germany and the US. “This workshop is our effort to help bring down the costs of such training capabilities and help the industry get a better appreciation of the R&D facilities available within India,” Dr. Phadke added.

The other presenters at the workshop included Customized Energy Solutions Dr. Shrikant Nagpure who presented on the manufacturing process of Li-ion cells, Dr. Tanmay Sarkar who presented on Li-ion battery supply chain and Harsh Thacker gave the market overview.