Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a dedicated Central Public Sector Undertaking for the solar energy sector under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued an expression of interest for identification and empanelment of agencies for the development of electric/ transformative mobility space in the country.
As indicated in the notice, an e-consultation meeting with the prospective participants is scheduled on November 6, 2020, SECI’s office through an online platform. The last date for submission of interest is December 7, 2020.
“SECI intends to empanel agencies for the identification and implementation of business opportunities in the electric/transformative mobility space in line with the national target of raising the share of electric vehicles (EVs) to 30 percent of a total number of vehicles by 2030 along with associated infrastructure,” SECO stated in the official EOI notice.
The objective of EOI is to onboard three to five agencies which preferably have proven track record prior experience in electric/transformative mobility and/ or in new/innovative technology development/scale-up.
The scope of the EOI mentions, business opportunities could be existing in demand creation, demand aggregation, setting up charging infrastructure, introduction of new and innovative products, market development, capacity building, etc. In addition to identifying the business opportunities, the empaneled agencies (EA) would be required to provide regular updates in this regard to SECI.
The business opportunities identified therein by EAs will be evaluated by SECI and if found suitable SECI would endeavor to facilitate further implementation of such opportunities on mutually beneficial terms and conditions for which a binding agreement may be executed between SECI and EA detailing the various terms and conditions.
The notice further clarified that unless extended, the empanelment shall be for a period of three years which shall be subject to regular reviews and modifications.
To be eligible to participate in the EOI, the application must have a positive net-worth as of March 31, 2020, or March 31, 2019. Additionally, they will also be evaluated by SECI based on criteria such as their experience in this space, the number of operational electric and transformative mobility projects, and proposed technology and business plans laid out by the company.
SECI has been the implementing agency for many of the Government of India schemes for the promotion of solar and wind energy projects where SECI serves as a demand aggregator and intermediary procurer of solar and wind power and supply of RE power on a back-to-back basis. One of the objectives of SECI is the promotion of new technology and the development of demonstration projects that reduces carbon emission and the latest EOI marks SECI’s foray in the electric and transformative mobility space.
Between 2005 and 2018, patenting activity in batteries and other electricity storage technologies grew at an average annual rate of 14 percent worldwide, four times faster than the average of all technology fields, according to the new joint study published by the European Patent Office (EPO) and International Energy Agency (IEA).
The International Energy Agency (IEA) and European Patent Office's (EPO) joint report, “Innovation in batteries and electricity storage” highlights the growth in patenting activity in batteries and electricity storage over the past decade.
“More than 7,000 international patent families (IPFs) related to electricity storage were published in 2018, up from 1,029 in 2000,” according to the report. "While a consistently upward trend has been observed since 2000, there has been a notable acceleration since 2005, with an annual growth rate of 14 percent until 2018, compared with just 3.5 percent on average for all technology areas across the economy." (Figure E1)
The report shows that batteries make for an estimated 90 percent of all patenting activity in the area of electricity storage, and the growth in innovation is primarily driven by advances in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in consumer electronics and electric cars. The uptake of electric mobility in particular has been recognized as the main driver for the development of new lithium-ion chemistries aimed at improving power output, durability, charge/discharge speed, and recyclability.
It further highlights that technological development is also being fueled by the need to integrate larger quantities of renewable energy (wind and solar power) into the electric grid.
The study revealed that of the top 10 global application behind IPFs related to batteries, nine are based in Asia. These include seven Japanese companies, led by Panasonic and Toyota, and two Korean companies, Samsung and LG Electronics. Bosch, a German company, is the only non-Asian applicant to feature in the ranking.
The report shows that Japan and Korea have established strong leadership in battery technology globally and the technological progress combined with mass production in an increasingly mature industry has led to a significant drop in battery prices in recent years. Prices have declined by nearly 90 percent since 2010 in the case of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, and by around two-thirds over the same period for stationary applications, including electricity grid management.
The report highlights Li-ion currently leads the battery technology patenting, accounting for 38 percent of all battery-related IPFs in 2010-2018.
“NMC cathode chemistry has seen the most innovative breakthroughs related to Li-ion batteries since the launch of mass-market electric vehicles, but potentially disruptive competitors are emerging outside the big companies and with more regional variation,” the study underscored.
According to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, for the world to meet climate and sustainable energy goals, close to 10 000 gigawatt-hours of batteries and other forms of energy storage will be required worldwide by 2040 – 50 times the size of the current market.
The study is the first joint report by the two organizations, as a part of the MoU signed between IEA and EPO for bilateral cooperation aimed at promoting innovation in sustainable energy technologies. As per the MoU, the two entities will publish a series of joint studies over the next three years to inform policymakers and the public about technology trends in areas that are critical for the energy transition and climate change mitigation.
India plans to offer $4.6 billion in incentives to companies setting up advanced battery manufacturing facilities as it seeks to promote the use of electric vehicles and cut down its dependence on oil, according to a government proposal seen by Reuters.
A proposal drafted by NITI Aayog, a federal think tank chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said India could slash its oil import bills by as much as $40 billion by 2030 if electric vehicles were widely adopted.
The proposal is likely to be reviewed by Modi's cabinet in the coming weeks, said a senior government official, who was not authorized to comment on the matter and declined to be identified. NITI Aayog and the Indian government did not respond to requests for comment.
The think tank recommended incentives of $4.6 billion by 2030 for companies manufacturing advanced batteries, starting with cash and infrastructure incentives of 9 billion rupees ($122 million) in the next financial year which would then be ratcheted up annually.
"Currently, the battery energy storage industry is at a very nascent stage in India with investors being a little apprehensive to invest in a sunrise industry," the proposal said.
India plans to retain its import tax rate of 5% for certain types of batteries, including batteries for electric vehicles, until 2022, but will increase it to 15% thereafter to promote local manufacturing, the document said.
Though keen to reduce its oil dependence and cut down on pollution, India's efforts to promote electric vehicles have been stymied by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure such as charging stations. Just 3,400 electric cars were sold in the world's second-most populous nation during the last business year, compared to sales of 1.7 million conventional passenger cars.
The policy could benefit battery makers such as South Korea's LG Chem and Japan's Panasonic Corp as well as automakers which have started building EVs in India such as Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra.
While China accounts for 80% of the world's lithium-ion cell production, India has introduced stricter investment rules for Chinese companies. It has also slowed down the approval process for some proposals after a deadly border clash between the two countries in June.
The draft proposal said annual domestic demand for battery storage and market size - currently less than 50 gigawatt hours and worth just over to $2 billion - could grow to 230 gigawatt hours and more than $14 billion in ten years’ time.
It did not offer an estimate of how many electric cars it expected to be on the road by 2030.
The proposal estimates it would cost firms some $6 billion over five years to set up manufacturing facilities with the support of government subsidies.
NITI Aayog has been the driver of several key India government policies including the planned privatisations of a swathe of state-owned companies.
Bengaluru-based e-mobility technology company, Cell Propulsion which designs and manufactures EV powertrain and EV parts has raised pre-Series A funding from three investors growX, Micelio, and Endiya Partners.
The latest Pre-Series A round follows the seed round held last year led by Endiya Partners in which Cell Propulsion received funding from the Centre for Innovation, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) part of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Sangam Ventures, and growX Ventures.
“This investment sets us up for building a strong foundation for the company with a compelling story and vision,” said Nakul Kukar, Cofounder and CEO of Cell Propulsion speaking to ETN magazine.
“We will complete homologation and all required certifications for the commercial launch of our LFP battery packs, electric light commercial vehicles, and e-bus powertrains. Besides these funds will also enable us to execute pilots and demos with potential customers,” Kukar added.
Micelio, India’s first seed fund focused solely on clean mobility is the new investor in this round while growX, the Delhi-based early-stage investment firm and Endiya Partners are the existing investors that participated in the recent round.
Investment by Micelio, which is billed as a dedicated fund for EV technology start-ups with its vision to promote e-mobility in India is expected to bring greater strategic advantages to Cell Propulsion.
“They can help us with business development and increasing our presence in south India,” added Kukar commenting on how the new investment will help scale the existing business.
Cell Propulsion mainly develops battery packs, battery management systems (BMS), chargers, motor drives, motors, VCU, telematics module, and associated operating software stack in-house catering to e-4Ws, e-buses, and e-trucks (vehicles with a power rating of greater than 15kW and operating voltages of more than 96V) segment.
The latest round of investment will be instrumental for the startup's plan to diversify into electrification of all commercial vehicle segments starting from LCVs and all the way up to HCVs.
EV Motors India, a turnkey electric vehicle (EV) solutions provider, and Hero Electric have arrived into a partnership to upkeep adoption of EVs for last-mile delivery operations.
Under the corporation, EV Motors will offer advanced battery solutions and charging infrastructure unified with Hero Electric vehicles, the two companies said in a mutual statement.
Hero Electric's e-bikes will be integrated with hi-tech batteries from EV Motors India and these can be supercharged in less than 30 minutes using the rapid charging station network 'PlugNgo' being implemented by the latter.
"The rapid charging stations will be installed at strategic locations, comprising the Hero Electric franchises and will be accessible for public charging," the declaration said.
At the outset, a pilot of about 10,000 e-bikes will run in a few cities in the next 12 months before the countrywide launch.
These solutions are particularly designed to meet the necessities and expectations of last-mile delivery operators, comprising e-commerce, online food, fleet operators, and courier delivery businesses, it further.
Hero Electric CEO Sohinder Gill believed, "This unique solution of '30 minutes charging' coupled with the easier ownership models may be a game-changer for the EV industry as it will solve three important issues namely -- range anxiety, battery replacement costs, and the high acquisition price."
He further said, "As a market leader we'll keep offering a variety of EV adoption options to customers be it battery rapid charging or home charging with lightweight portable batteries.
“Our upgraded bikes are now ready with the hi-tech batteries from EV Motors to deliver the best value for money to the discerning customer."
The quick charge feature makes regular vehicle operation of 130-140 km stress-free, thus bringing down maintenance and running costs, while certainly impacting business unit economics, as per the declaration.
EV Motors India Managing Director Vinit Bansal believed the partnership with Hero Electric is another step forward towards the company's pledge to boost e-mobility and provide a holistic EV infrastructure.
"We have observed a huge demand for electric two-wheelers and related services in last-mile delivery operation, keeping in mind the demand of long-life batteries that can not only be charged very swiftly but also can endure the rigidities of high temperatures and Indian driving conditions.
“Hence, this strategic partnership will help generate the necessary capability and technology for building the future of the mobility market in India," Bansal further.
Image Credit: Hero Electric
Image courtesy- Exicom Power Solutions - MEXX BMS
Power and mobility solutions provider Exicom Power Solutions have announced the launch of two leading battery management system: MEXX – a top-of-the-line automotive-grade BMS and LITE – a value-engineered BMS.
Both, MEXX and LITE BMS are 100% made in India products designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality battery packs in the country.
“Mexx is our top of the line product which is designed for high demanding automotive applications. Mexx use of AEC Q100 qualified components or ASCIL-B* certification or industry-leading measurement accuracies, multiple redundant hardware and software safety features and high level of modularity makes it an ideal choice for BMS for auto OEM’s,” Mr. Nahata explained.
“On the other hand, LITE has been designed keeping in mind the wide breadth of requirements existing in the market – from low-speed vehicles to smart drivetrains to IoT enabled vehicles and fast-growing battery swapping market as well.”
LITE is best-suited for e-2Ws and low- and med-speed e-3Ws and can be used in other applications ranging from light electric vehicles, micro-mobility, and consumer applications of up to 80V.
Both MEXX and LITE come with telematics support and advanced cloud analytics to continuously monitor and configure the battery performance in real-time.
“We are proud that these technologies were fully developed in India by our R&D team and in partnership with NXP – world’s leading BMS chipsets provider and we believe it’s a big step in giving India freedom to go electric,” Mr. Nahata added.
Some of the key features of MEXX BMS are:
- Supports from 7 cells up to 28 cells
- Redundant voltage, temperature, and current protection
- Adaptive charge control algorithm
- Ready interface with Exicom’s Battery Disconnects Unit (BDU)
- Supports multiple wake-up sources.
- Proprietary multi-layer safety architecture for voltage, current and temperature
- Plug and play support for Exicom’s telematics
- Communication: 2 x CAN, BLE/ UART
- 4 on-board temperature sensors, 8 configurable digital/analog inputs
- Rich set of configurable parameters to adapt to different use cases
- Black-box/Event Data Recorder & bookkeeping function
- Extensive safety mechanisms such as open wire detection and fuse blown detection.
MEXX is extremely modular and chemistry agnostic, it can independently build batteries from 12V to 120V and support up to 1000V in battery architecture. MEXX BMS is compliant to global IEC & ISO electrical and mechanical standards, ASIL-B certified, and AEC Q100 qualified component.
Some of the key features of LITE BMS are:
- Supports from 5 cells up to 16 cells
- Operating voltage range 8V to 80V
- Cell chemistry agnostic
- Redundant voltage, temperature, and current protection
- Optimized for ultra-low-power battery applications
- Chemical fuse for secondary over-voltage protection as per UL 2054
- Integrated high power battery disconnect switch
- Black-box/ Event Data Recorder & bookkeeping function
- Supports multiple wake-up sources
- Rich set of configurable parameters to adapt to different use cases
- Isolated/non-isolated CAN Communication & BLE/UART
- Supports 5 analog inputs
- Plug and play support for Exicom’s Telematics
- Unique BMS HW authentication for non-intelligent systems
- Configurable tamper detection mechanism
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), signed an MoU with India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) for faster adoption of e-mobility and scaling EV infrastructure across India on Thursday, August 6.
The MoU was signed between Dr.Rahul Walawalkar, President, IESA and Saurabh Kumar, Vice Chairman, EESL Group of Companies in presence of Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director, IESA and Amit Kaushik, Executive Director (Growth), EESL; Tarun Tayal, GM (Commercial), EESL during the 7th edition of ‘India e-Mobility Conclave 2020 (IMC 2020) – a full-day conference organized by IESA, which got major stakeholders operating in the transportation and auto industry on a single platform to discuss the future of e-mobility in India and way forward for faster adoption of EVs.
“We are proud to sign the MoU between Energy Efficiency Services Limited and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) to work collaboratively on multiple priority areas to catalyze the growth of the Indian electric mobility sector,” said Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director of IESA.
The focus of the partnership will be on the development and deployment of a pilot electric vehicle tracker tool, along with the analysis of the potential for telecom towers to double as EV charging stations in India. Further, EESL stated, a joint study will be undertaken with telecom tower companies to determine the viability of retrofitting telecom tower facilities to allow them to also serve as EV charging stations to promote the use of green energy.
As part o the partnership, EESL will drive the EV adoption among government establishments and on the PSU-side whereas IESA will drive the private-side of the EV adoption efforts by encouraging corporates and private users.
To accelerate the private adoption of xEVs in India, IESA also launched EV Adopters Club (IESA-EAC). The club will work in a phased approach and Mr. Surabh Kumar, Vice-chairman EESL Group confirmed that it will provide free charging to the members of IESA- EAC members across India at EESL facilities.
IESA and EESL will also be jointly working on knowledge and capacity building activities for OEMs, battery operators, and charging station installers.
The Metrodecker EVs are the first new vehicles that have entered service with First UK Bus since it announced its pledge to achieve a completely zero-emission fleet by 2035. These are the first new vehicles to be introduced by First UK Bus anywhere in the country since the company announced on July 8 its commitment to achieving a zero-carbon fleet by 2035. The first Optare battery-electric buses – Versa EVs – entered service on the York park-and-ride network in 2014.
Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “We are proud of the progress Optare has been making in developing sustainable solutions for public transport. Optare has the know-how, technology, and experience to help cities with reducing emissions from buses. The total Metrodecker order book is 107, and as increased adoption of EV tech happens, Optare will certainly lead this transformation. Optare continues to be a key piece in our overall strategy to be amongst the Top 10 CV makers globally.”
These Metrodecker EVs have been developed from the prototype by Optare in a partnership with First York and the York City Council which began three years ago. They are made and fully assembled at Optare’s factory in Sherburn.
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) concluded its 2nd roundtable virtual meet on AatmaNirbhar Bharat - Energy Storage Manufacturing Roadmap for India on a high note. Attended by over 100 key industry stakeholders, the roundtable was graced by some eminent dignitaries like Mr. Suresh Prabhu, India's Sherpa to G20, G7, Member of Parliament, GoI; Mr. Satendra Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines; Peter Baldwin, Commissioner India, Government of Western Australia; Mr. Deepak Pahwa, Managing Director, Bry-Air; Mr. Sarin Sundar Kuppuswamy, CTO office, Applied materials; Mr. Jasmeet Kalsi, Director, Manikaran Lithium; Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President, IESA, and officially supported by India's highest planning body the NITI Aayog.
The event was attended by 5+ country embassies from Japan, Netherland, Western Australia, USA, Norway, and central government officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Mines, NITI Aayog and 100+ industry stakeholders.
The roundtable discussed the key measures that will enable the future transition towards a green economy sustainably and also suggested ways towards enhancing the future energy storage bundled with accelerating technological innovation for environment-friendly processes.
Speaking at the roundtable, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, India's Sherpa to G20, G7, MoP said: “Storage is the part of the human behavior. India is the second-highest consumer of energy in the world, and will gradually climb up to the top of the ladder. There is a need to work on a roadmap on energy storage. The concept of energy storage existed before but it only coming to fore now as the world, especially India focusses more on renewable power generation. There is an accelerating need for India to invest in R&D into innovation within the spectrum of energy storage in a big way. In this roundtable, we are focusing on AatmaNirbhar Bharat. How do we do that? It can be done by facilitating available resources to local developers on an optimal scale. Energy is an important aspect of AatmaNirbhar Bharat. This will only happen when a locally developed R&D system will come to the forefront.
I would like to congratulate India Energy Storage Alliance for providing this platform to discuss and deliberate on the roadmap to energy storage in India in a much-focused manner,” he added.
Mr. Satendar Singh, Joint Secretary, at the Ministry of Mines, Government of India said, “As the Ministry of Mines, we look for availability of minerals required in making batteries. As far as availability of lithium is concerned we are mainly looking at a few minerals bearing lithium. Geological Survey of India (GSI) is actively doing exploration work for these minerals. So far, there have been encouraging results from the state of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Rajasthan. The initial findings indicate that there could be possible lithium-bearing minerals [in these states]. In the Purulia district, West Bengal, they have found a deposit of pegmatite which has around 1.05% of lithium in it. They are further working on these findings and trying to locate all such areas to establish actual reserves and resources that we find in India."
An MoU was signed between KABIL from India and JEMSE from Argentina for sourcing of Lithium and Cobalt. They are now working on mutual studies, sharing info, and looking at how to start the off-take of Lithium [exploration], he added.
Mr. Peter Baldwin Commissioner, India, Government of Western Australia said, “We have all the key minerals required for battery energy storage and other rare earth minerals. Therefore, we have a crucial role to be partnering with India.”
Mr. Deepak Pahwa, Chairman, Pahwa Group & Managing Director, Bry-Air (Asia) said, "Lithium-battery production rests on four pillars (enablers): technology, machinery, dry room, raw materials, and components. India today is 100% self-sufficient in this area [dry room]. While we are dependent on others for raw materials, machinery, and technology, India has the product and world-class technology for dry rooms. We are currently working with our German partners, as a solution provider for dry rooms, for a new plant that is coming up in Germany for Li-ion battery production. We are manufacturing the dry room equipment [dehumidifier] and supporting them with the flow of information for the production room, which will be done locally."
In India, we have worked with BHEL, Amara Raja, DRDO, IIT Kharagpur and we are currently installing dry rooms for ISRO. We at [Bry-Air] are committed to supporting PM Modi's AatmaNirbhar Bharat plans and are exploring different opportunities to be the part of the same," he further added.
Mr.Jasmeet Singh Kalsi, Director, Manikaran said, “We may have started late but we have ample opportunity to catch up and develop the local industry for manufacturing. To develop [Li-ion] batteries, raw materials is the most important material and companies like ours [Manikaran Lithium] is trying to fulfill that need.”
Mr. Sarin Kuppuswamy, CTO, Applied Materials, India said, “High energy density is very important for all energy storage applications in EVs, drones, consumer electronics. What we plan is high energy density [batteries] moving in the future.
Besides, we are exploring opportunities to work with research partners, as the cell chemistries will vary depending on who wants to manufacture,” he added.
IESA’s 3rd Virtual roundtable on AtmaNirbhar Bharat - Energy Storage Manufacturing Roadmap for India will be held on 12th August 2020. It will focus on Urban Mining & Recycling Ecosystem to support Advanced Energy Storage Manufacturing in India (battery handling and environmental rules, global best practices, recycling technology, recycling supply chain and enforcement of regulations, second life, urban mining).
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced that it has issued a tender for setting up 1,070 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects in Rajasthan.
It further that developers will have to submit a single bid for any quantity beginning from a minimum size of 10 MW going up to 1,070 MW. The projects would be set up on a B-O-O basis and can be positioned anywhere in the state.
SECI would arrive into a 25-year power purchase agreement with the nominated bidder and retail the power obtained to Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Limited.
The projects have a commissioning period of 18 months from the actual date of the PPA.
“Projects should be designed for interconnection with the nearest substation of the state transmission utility at a voltage level of 33 kV or above. The developer shall set up the solar project, including a dedicated transmission network to the interconnection/delivery point, at its own cost,” SECI believed.
Nonetheless, bidders would be free to select the transmission utility substations for the interconnection of the project to the grid.