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India and Lithium-ion Batteries

The Lithium-ion Batteries are part of laptops, PDAs, cell phones and iPods. These are part of electric car manufacturing instead of older Lead-Acid and Nickel-Metal Hydrate based batteries. Although the cheaper e-bikes in India still use Lead Acid batteries to save costs. The Lithium-ion batteries are the most energetic rechargeable batteries available as they can store more energy per kilogram as compared to Lead Acid batteries.


Pros and Cons of Lithium-ion Batteries:


.They are generally much lighter than other types of batteries of the same size. A typical lithium-ion battery can store 150 watts of electricity in 1 kilogram of battery while a lead-acid battery can store 25 watts-hours per kilogram of battery. It takes 6 kilograms to store the same amount of energy that 1-kilogram lithium-ion battery can handle which make a huge difference

. A lithium-ion battery pack loses only about 5% of its charge per month, compared to a 20% loss per month for NiMH batteries.

. They start degrading once they are produced and can last up to 5 years from the date of manufacture whether to use it or not.

. They are extremely sensitive to high temperature, which may lead on to degradation of battery very fast.

. A lithium-ion battery pack must have an on-board computer to manage the battery which makes it more expensive.


Technology and cost challenges: The current battery performance is sufficient to be used in Electric Vehicles but still there is a need to increase in energy and power density. The electric car tends to last around a decade or longer, unlike electronic items. The problem of battery degradation in EVs a major challenge. The cost of batteries for vehicular use is 4 to 8 times that of lead-acid and to 4 times that of Ni-Mh. The cost of batteries is going to decrease as batteries will be increasingly used for many applications like UPS, Electronics, and backup power supplies. As the market grows, the production scales up and manufacturers will be able to enjoy the economics of scales. According to studies the cost of lithium-ion will decreases from $550/kwh in 2012 to 325/kWh in 2020


Lithium Sourcing in India:


India imports almost all of its Lithium-Ion requirements mainly from China as India lacks raw material including Lithium to manufacture of these batteries. The valuation of global lithium-ion battery pack market jumped from US$ 15 billion to US$ 127 during 2018-201 and the market revenues are expected to escalate 3x in the next decade. The indigenous manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles is all set for kickstart with the country’s Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) acquiring the lithium reserve in next six months. Apart from lithium, KABIL will also identify, explore, develop and process for its commercial use.

With an eye on overseas reserves, KABIL recently visited the Lithium triangles countries in South America comprising Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia which have offered to meet India’s need for lithium to set up a large plant of lithium-ion battery in India.


The Bolivia and India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for development and industrial use of lithium in the month of May only. Both the countries agreed to forge mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for lithium battery cell production plants in India. In an attempt to promote indigenous manufacturing the government has doubled the basic import duty on lithium-ion cells – used in the manufacturing of lithium-ion accumulator for EV – to 10% from April 2021. India has a significant market potential for batteries and electric vehicles. The electric vehicles are creating a big demand and due to this demand, the cost of batteries will further come down. The Indian Government swift action for indigenous manufacturing may create high skill job creation

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