Batteries for Electric Vehicles in India
The Electric Vehicle wave may still be new in India but its powerhouse – the batteries – is familiar territory. Where batteries, namely lead acid batteries, were previously in insatiable demand for automobiles and power backup solutions, the new foray of electric vehicles have urged manufacturers to put out fresh solutions for a new market.
Traditionally, batteries for electric cars available in India have been lead acid batteries, but with newer variants, there has also been an introduction of the lithium ion technology for electric vehicles.
Lead Acid Batteries v/s Lithium Ion Battery Packs for Electric Cars in India
Electric applications for transport in India are dominated by power from lead acid batteries. While lithium ion batteries promise quicker charging times, lighter weight, longer range and better efficiency, lead acid batteries still have a one-up on its advantages. Especially in India, the advantages of using lead acid over lithium ion are numerous, which is why the foreseeable future will use more of this technology for upcoming cars with better success rate and consumer favor.
Availability of Batteries for Electric Vehicles
The clash between the two titans is clearly biased in the favor of lead acid batteries where availability is concerned. The rule of demand and supply insists that the ever increasingly popularity of lead acid batteries ensures a steady stream of supply for eager consumers. The technology for electric vehicle batteries is still new ground, but those with existing infrastructures in place for the production of lead acid batteries can integrate the new technology and produce batteries for electric cars without much hassle. The availability of lead is also plentiful, ensuring raw material is available at the hands of those who want it.
The favoritism is further justified by the lack of lithium in India and the fact that lithium ion technology for electric cars is a whole new territory and can’t be integrated into current manufacturing regimes. Given the lack of demand, the supply is stunted and importing is such a hassle that the easier alternative of lead acid becomes even more attractive.
While it’s all as easy as plugging in, the powerhouse within makes all the difference.[/caption]But the initial availability might not be a bother for some people. You could procure lithium ion batteries and install them in your electric vehicle solution, but what does one do when it runs its course of life? Replacing lithium icon batteries would mean having to go through the tedious procurement process and long waiting times to ensure a successful replacement is complete. While lead acid batteries are possibly available within a few miles radius of you, lithium ion is quite a few shipping ports away. Overall, the availability of one gives it the definite edge over the other, given the current situations of the market in Electric Vehicles demand in India.
May the best price win – The cost of batteries for electric cars
The foremost factor that determines the popularity of any product is its price. In the battle between the two forms of battery alternatives for any electric vehicle, lead acid takes the cake with its definite pricing edge. The initial cost of a lead acid battery pack is much cheaper than its equitable lithium ion battery pack. Although the advantages of Lithium Ion justify its price on many levels, the consumer is wary of having to shell that much more for the same utility, even at reduced performance and efficiency.
Because lead acid batteries are widely available and are considered a competitively priced product, the cost of initial purchase is affordable to an electric vehicle owner and in the long run, replacements are also favorable in terms of their price. Though they are not cheap by any criteria, but compared to lithium ion batteries, they are certainly more attractive on their price label.
Making electric cars more affordable with battery pack leasing
While lead acid batteries might be cheaper compared to lithium ion, they’re still a hefty price to pay for with regards to any electric vehicle. A major percentage of any electric car’s pricing involves the cost of its batteries. So what if manufacturers were to only sell the vehicles and there was a way of leasing the battery packs to the end consumer? Would it bump up the popularity of electric cars, given that they’d be so much more affordable to own? And would it make lithium ion batteries more popular since the customer wont have to pay for it upfront? Those are questions waiting to be answered, and hopefully in the coming years, the Indian infrastructure will allow us to address these concerns with greater understanding of the market and government policies.
Saving the environment while powering your Electric Car
Besides the surface benefits of saving fuel and being emission free, the added advantage with using lead acid batteries is the fact that they can be recycled. When a consumer buys a new lead acid battery pack for his electric car, he can sell back his old one for a fairly decent price, which is further recycled into the production of more batteries. This enables less environmental waste and better value addition for the consumer. Lead-acid batteries are the most widely recycled product in the world because they’re 70% lead by weight and the recycling process is simple.
This isn’t quite the case in lithium ion batteries. They are rarely ever recycled because the process is tedious, difficult and very expensive. This poses some dangerous environmental issues, given the possibility of using them as a preferred source of energy and a resulting hike in environmental waste.
The Market for Batteries in India catering Electric Cars and EVs
While electric cars are still taking their sweet time to hold their footing in India, other electric vehicles are seeing a rise in popularity. These are off-road solutions like Golf Carts or public solutions like Electric Rickshaws. These have found much success with lead acid batteries being produced in the country. For Golf Carts, the standard solutions suffice, though specialized golf cart batteries can boost performance.
For Electric Rickshaws, the batteries currently being deployed are automobile batteries. Given the deep cycle application of a standard electric rickshaw, the need for more stable and specialized EV-grade batteries is getting more urgent.
Special Lead Acid Batteries by Speedways Electric for Electric Vehicle Application
Speedways Electric has developed special EV-grade batteries for Electric Rickshaws and other electric vehicles to enable them to run longer and add to the efficiency of the vehicle. Also partnering with Solar technology, these batteries will be charged in collaboration with the solar grid, making their charge costs even lower than typical charging infrastructures.
They are planning quick recharge options for these electric rickshaws by enabling lead acid battery packs that can be changed within the vehicle to charged packs once drained. The whole process will take 2-3 minutes and the electric rickshaws will be back on the streets with a full powered battery pack. This will not require the vehicle to waste productive hours at a charging station and will always have a charged battery pack on-board.
Such inventive solutions will make batteries for electric vehicles more competent in India and enable the country to embrace its electric vehicles with greater enthusiasm.