SRM – Amara Raja Centre has been established to design and develop low-cost, fast-charging, next-generation Lithium-ion battery innovations for smarter E-mobility in collaboration with Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. (ARBL), in India.
The Centre will have state-of-the-art facilities, powered by top researchers from industry and academia to drive innovation from the laboratory to market. Researchers working on this include cross-discipline experts from ARBL and SRM-AP faculty.
Aligned to India’s national mission on transformative mobility and battery storage, the Centre is committed to drive clean, connected, shared and sustainable mobility initiatives. This is significant as the world moves from fossil fuels to renewables, and the focus shifts to energy storage devices to reduce the carbon footprint of the transport. To drive a low carbon economy, it is imperative to consolidate and grow the capabilities in novel battery technology.
With India having announced its ambitious intent to go all-electric by 2030, the Centre will tap the application and product-oriented interdisciplinary research, to drive fast-charging, low-cost, battery electronic materials in large-scale using cost-effective manufacturing methods, high ionic conductivity electrolytes, industrial-scale fabrication of porous battery electrodes using 3D printing technology, and custom-designed efficient thermal and electronic control protocols for assembled battery packs.
Currently, the total cost of Lithium-ion battery in Electric Vehicle, EV (75 kWh capacity) is US$ 15,000 (~INR 10.5 lakhs) with 300 km drive range per charge. The cost of the batteries is more than half the cost of the vehicle and sometimes equal to the cost of the vehicle. The battery cost and its charging infrastructure are critical barriers to the growth of the EV market in India and abroad.
Commenting on this collaboration, Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice Chancellor, SRM University-AP, said, “We’re excited about this successful partnership and address the challenges of making ultra-high performance batteries. This is a testament to our deep commitment towards application-oriented research in the Renewable Energy sector at SRM-AP. The world needs a new generation of reliable, safe, sustainable, and affordable batteries. Climate change, emission by road traffic, and the finite nature of fossil fuels make sustainable energy technology an important task for the future.” The Centre also would focus on research beyond Lithium-ion batteries.
Sri S Vijayanand, CEO, Amara Raja Batteries Limited, said, “The Centre of excellence intends to bring cross-pollination of ideas and catalyse new-age innovations. Batteries are critical technologies to achieve deep decarbonisation of the energy system, creating smarter transport with electro-mobility and smarter power grid with the storage of intermittent renewable energy sources. This means establishing an acceleration platform for the discovery of new battery materials using machine learning and 3D printing, especially focusing on interfaces in batteries where reactions take place that can be detrimental for battery lifetime. We will design smart functionalities down to the battery cell level, and pay particular attention to sustainability issues.”