Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on March 17, entered into a collaboration with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company specializing in hybrid lithium-ion and Aluminum-Air Batteries systems, to form IOC Phinergy Private Limited. The objective is to manufacture Ultra-Lightweight Metal-air batteries for electric vehicles using Aluminum-Air Batteries (AI-Air) technology & to boost e-mobility. IOC had in February last year acquired a minority stake in Phinergy Ltd.
Aluminium-based metal-air battery uses oxygen from the air and combines it with the metal to create an aluminum hydroxide, which activates the electrolysis process and creates an electric current. These batteries are lighter and compact with high energy density.
This collaboration was initiated during the visit of Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India to Israel in July 2017. Following which, letters of Intent were exchanged between the respective companies during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Israel to India in 2018.
According to an official statement, leading automotive manufacturers Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the IOC Phinergy Private Limited. This is expected to prove to be a significant boost to India’s pursuit of e-mobility. The joint venture will replace lithium with aluminum to make batteries that will charge faster and give a longer run.
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said that the fruition of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, inter alia, resulted in this Joint Venture being launched today. He said that the joint venture will help India in its journey towards clean, sustainable, affordable, safe, and long-lasting energy options and facilitate much faster adoption of e-Vehicles in the country.
According to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the onerous task of ensuring ample access to energy combined with the need to have a smaller carbon footprint will be made easy with the development of indigenous batteries using locally available Aluminum. The minister further said that the Aluminum-Air Batteries systems in India will help the country in becoming “Atmanirbhar” for energy requirements.
He expressed happiness that apart from Maruti Suzuki, leading automobile industry representatives such as Ashok Leyland and Mahindra Electric are part of the validation of the technology, while urging the Indian industry, primarily the automotive manufacturers, to extend all necessary support to the joint venture for commercializing the Aluminum-Air technology.
Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz also lauded the initiative, saying that this is indicative of increasingly close cooperation between the two countries. We have been looking to provide clean energy to India using technology that is made in Israel. This has been a big dream and the dream is becoming a reality today with the signing of these MoUs. I am sure that we are going to succeed with the help of all stakeholders.
“With one of the most extensive customer interfaces in the country, IndianOil has been working continuously to improve customer’s experience and provide solutions for all kinds of energy needs. The JV between IndianOil and Phinergy for commercializing Aluminum-Air technology is an important initiative towards technology-driven Energy Transition,” said IndianOil chairman SM Vaidya.
“Al-Air technology will help us overcome most of the current challenges for e-Vehicles and address most of the potential customers’ pain-points, including range anxiety, higher cost of purchase, and safety issues. This technology will also boost India’s existing aluminium industry and help the nation become Self-reliant in the energy field and promote the ‘Make in India’ drive,” added Vaidya.