Hindalco Industries Limited, part of Aditya Birla Group, signed an MOU with Phinergy, a leading Israeli pioneer in aluminum-air battery technology, and IOC Phinergy Private Limited, a joint venture between Phinergy and PSU Indian Oil Corporation. Under the MOU, the companies will partner on research and development and pilot the production of aluminum plates for aluminum-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), as well as the recycling of aluminum after the usage of these batteries.
“Climate action is integral to our business and our partnership with Phinergy and IOP is a significant step towards decarbonizing mobility,” said Satish Pai, managing director of Hindalco Industries. “The partnership is also a testament to Hindalco’s globally recognized capabilities in innovation and R&D and we are happy to contribute to the development of the aluminum-air battery. India has an abundance of aluminum resources and this technology can help enhance the nation’s energy and resource security.”
Developed by Phinergy, the aluminum-air battery creates energy through the reaction between aluminum and oxygen in ambient air to produce aluminum hydroxide. Due to its light weight and high energy density, an aluminum-air battery significantly increases the driving range of electric vehicles. It also enables quick “refuelling” and eliminates the need for expensive nationwide charging networks.
Aluminum-air batteries are expected to make EV adoption more convenient, and accelerate the transition to zero emission mobility. An added benefit is that aluminum hydroxide in the battery can be recycled to recover aluminum. Leading automobile manufacturers in India are currently testing the technology.
“Phinergy strongly believes aluminum-air batteries will contribute to the clean energy revolution in India,” said David Mayer, CEO, Phinergy. “The partnership with Hindalco, a global aluminum industry leader, is a major step in the deployment of aluminum-air batteries in India and we are confident this collaboration will significantly enhance the development of an ecosystem enabling to supply ‘aluminum as energy’ made in India.“
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, chairman of IOP, added, “IOP was incorporated with the objective of commercialization and manufacturing of aluminum-air energy systems in India to strengthen India’s energy security. Aluminum is abundantly available in India and its usage as an energy storage medium through this novel technology has the potential to contribute immensely to AtmaNirbhar Bharat [a vision to make India self reliant]. This partnership with Hindalco is a big step towards catalyzing our efforts to develop a favorable ecosystem for faster dissemination of the aluminum-air battery technology. The collaboration will propel India’s aspirational journey towards sustainable, affordable and safe energy options for stationary and e-mobility purposes.”
The EV market, which would be the primary segment for aluminum-air batteries, is projected to achieve cumulative sales of 80 million units by 2030, according to a joint report by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and NITI Aayog. Aluminum-air batteries offer a viable alternative to other battery chemistries and will boost the domestic manufacturing of batteries to meet India’s growing demand for energy storage.