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Increasing Imports of Li-ion Batteries

  • 10 Feb 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Union Minister for Science & Technology has given information about imports of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in the country during the Budget session of 2020-21.

Key Points

  • Imports by Volume:
    • India has quadrupled its imports of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
    • 175 million such batteries were imported in 2016, 313 million in 2017, 712 million in 2018 and 450 million in 2019.
  • Cost of Imports:
    • It has more than tripled its import bill on the products vital for powering a range of devices from cellphones to electric vehicles from 2016-2018.
    • The cost of these imports rose from ₹2,600 crores in 2016 to ₹6,500 crores in 2019
  • Origin of Imports:
    • India imports Li-ion batteries from China, Japan and South Korea and is among the largest importers in the world.
    • China dominates the Li-ion battery market. Around three-quarters of battery cell manufacturing capacity is in China, and Chinese companies have unparalleled control of required domestic and foreign battery raw materials and processing facilities.
  • Manufacturing by India:
    • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) manufactures Li-ion batteries but volumes are limited and they are restricted for use in space applications.
  • Need to Increase Manufacturing by India:
    • The government has announced investments worth $1.4 billion to make India one of the largest manufacturing hubs for electric vehicles by 2040.
    • Electric vehicles are expected to account for a significant share in the growth of the Li-ion battery demand in India till 2025.
  • Steps taken by India:
    • The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI) of CSIR and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd had signed a Memorandum of Agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery project in 2018.
    • The Union Cabinet has also approved a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to drive clean, connected, shared sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives.

Li-ion batteries

  • A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery.
  • Li-ion batteries use an intercalated (Intercalation is the reversible inclusion or insertion of a molecule into materials with layered structures) lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery.
    • The battery consists of electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the constituent components of a lithium-ion battery cell.
    • Lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.
  • They are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries used for military, battery electric vehicle and aerospace applications.

National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage

  • National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage aims to promote clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives.
  • A Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) will be launched to localize production across the entire EV value chain which will be valid for 5 years until 2024.
  • The multi-disciplinary programme with an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee will be chaired by CEO NITI Aayog.
  • The details of the value addition that can be achieved with each phase of localization will be finalized by the Mission with a clear Make in India strategy for the electric vehicle components as well as battery.
  • The Mission will coordinate with key stakeholders in Ministries/ Departments and the states to integrate various initiatives to transform mobility in India.

Source: TH

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