The Aditya Birla Group’s metal flagship company, Hindalco, has signed an MoU with Phinergy, a leading Israel-based pioneer in metal-air battery technology, and IOC Phinergy Private Limited (IOP)—a joint venture between Phinergy and Indian Oil Corporation, to create aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), said a joint press statement.
Cutting-edge aluminium-air batteries would make its adoption easier for EVs in India would extend the driving range without the need for charging infrastructure, reduce battery imports, and give a boost to enhancing energy security. According to the MOU, Phinergy and IOP will partner exclusively with Hindalco in India on R&D and pilot production of aluminium plates for aluminium-air batteries and recycling of aluminium, after usage in these batteries. In the aluminium-air battery, developed by Phinergy, energy is released when aluminium reacts with oxygen in ambient air to produce aluminium hydroxide.
Hindalco Industries is the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. A $26 billion metals powerhouse, Hindalco is the world’s largest aluminium company by revenue and Phinergy is an innovative clean-tech company based in Israel, which is developing breakthrough clean-energy systems based on its patented metal-air technology. Due to its light weight and high energy density, an aluminium-air battery significantly increases the driving range of EVs. It also enables quick refuelling and eliminates the need for expensive nationwide charging networks, said the joint statement. These batteries are expected to make EV adoption more convenient and accelerate the transition to zero-emission mobility.
“Leading automobile manufacturers in India are currently testing the technology. An added benefit is that aluminium hydroxide in the battery can be recycled to recover aluminium,” said the statement. “Climate action is integral to our business and our partnership with Phinergy and IOP is a significant step towards decarbonising mobility. The partnership is also a testament to Hindalco’s globally recognised capabilities in innovation and R&D and we are happy to contribute to the development of the aluminium-air battery,” said Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries. “India has an abundance of aluminium resources, and this technology can help enhance the nation’s energy and resource security”.
Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman, IOP, said, “IOP was incorporated with the objective of commercialisation and manufacturing of aluminium-air energy systems in India to strengthen India’s energy security. Aluminium 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”.
David Mayer, CEO, Phinergy, pointed out, “Phinergy strongly believes aluminium-air batteries will contribute to the clean energy revolution in India. The partnership with Hindalco, a global aluminium industry leader, is a major step in the deployment of aluminium-air batteries in India and we are confident this collaboration will significantly enhance the development of an ecosystem enabling to supply “aluminium as energy” made in India.”
The EV market, which would be the primary segment for aluminium-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.