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Offgrid Energy Labs introduces innovative ZincGel Battery Technology to power India's EV battery swapping segment

IANS | April 08, 2022 05:07 PM

NEW DELHI: Offgrid Energy Labs, a young IIT Kanpur backed innovator and disruptor in the battery technology segment, on Friday announced its innovative ZincGel Battery Technology to strengthen India's EV battery swapping segment with sustainable batteries.

The start-up will be targeting mobility partners to bring forth solutions for fleets operating low-powered electric vehicles like two-wheelers and three-wheelers. ZincGel Battery Technology, in comparison to lithium-ion and lead-acid material batteries, are non-flammable and reduce the damaging impact on the environment. Offgrid Energy Labs plans to commercially launch ZincGel products in India by next year.

ZincGel Battery Technology is a highly efficient alternative to the costly imported batteries that are currently available in India. It will balance the performance and pricing of batteries with the introduction of zinc-based non-toxic materials. The first-of-its-kind technology has promising concepts and designs to address most of the issues faced by Li-Ion batteries especially in battery swapping sector. The efficient energy storage batteries developed by Offgrid Energy Labs can transform the energy landscape not only in India but around the world, fostering the growth of renewable energy and supporting the transition to clean energy.

In the next five years, the global EV market is going to be worth $100 billion, of which India is expected to have about 10-15 per cent share, considering its ambitious renewable energy goals. Offgrid Energy Labs is a key player for this market segment which aims to establish ZincGel as commercially viable and sustainable tech for low powered mobility battery swapping and infrastructure. Offgrid Energy Labs works on a partnership model that leverages the eco-system while the company will primarily focus on technology innovations within ZincGel Battery for different applications. The company is progressing various conversations with established brands in the last mile connectivity business like battery manufacturing, battery swapping and other ecosystem enablers to create financially viable network. The company has already established partnership with players such as Shell in the segment and are witnessing growing demand for the product simultaneously.

With rapid urbanisation, an efficient transportation system powered by environment friendly EVs is going to be a must for Indian towns and cities. It will be crucial for last mile connectivity, as the metro rail network expands and covers even the smaller cities. However, to accommodate the new paradigm, the segment needs to take steps to overcome the challenges like battery swapping, safety, durability, thermal runaway along with other limitations of Lithium-ion batteries. Offgrid Energy Lab's partnership model and ZincGel manufacturing technology coupled with the Government of India's support to manufacturing through Advanced Cell Chemistry PLI scheme can ensure that these challenges are addressed.

Offgrid Energy Labs' ZincGel Battery Technology is non-flammable and has energy efficiency at par with lithium-ion batteries but with twice the lifecycle and negligible operational cost, which can lead to large savings for two-wheeler EV operators. ZincGel Battery Technology can prove to be a viable option to conventional batteries by creating high quality batteries that can handle performance and thermal stress, ensure zero flammability and ease of manufacturing, and are made from recyclable materials.

The traditionally used lithium-ion batteries are not particularly viable for last mile transportation due to their high price, reduced life cycle due stress, which increases the cost of travel per km. Further, these batteries aren't suited for low-powered mobility due to their high material cost, ineffectiveness in high temperatures, and safety-related concerns. With over 15+ intellectual properties including patents, designs and trademarks, ZincGel technology powers batteries that outperform conventional energy storage batteries in terms of power density, life, and cost efficiency, thereby proving to be a viable alternative.

"We are here to reduce the dependency on Lithium-Ion battery packs and move to sustainable battery storage serving both the stationary as well as specific mobility applications. The demand for batteries is set to skyrocket soon not just in India, but across the globe. What differentiates ZincGel technology is innovative chemistry, design and democratised materials. We look forward to announcing further strategic pilots that solve vexing problems in the energy storage space. For electric three wheelers, ZincGel will offer at least three times the life thus reducing the frequency of battery replacement for operators. Therefore, because of all these features, zinc gel is going to be cost efficient and safer than any other battery technology used in these applications." says Rishi Srivastava, Co-founder, Offgrid Energy Labs.

"We are super-excited to tweak ZincGel for battery swapping application. We have designed ZincGel as a modular platform that can be modified based on application requirements. With the ability to prioritise between charging speed, temperature stability and energy density, our innovation is focused on addressing a wide variety of stationary and low powered mobility applications. Clearly, the amount of renewable energy that is being injected into the grid is increasing around the world. As a result, we require extremely powerful storage mechanisms to enable the power of renewables. This is where we would drive the new revolution by bringing ZincGel Battery Technology in priority stationary and mobility applications." says Tejas Kusurkar, Co-founder and CEO, Offgrid Energy Labs.

Siddharth Mehta, Principal Shell Ventures, expressed his views: "India needs a robust energy storage mechanism to empower the capacity of renewables being injected into the framework. The demand of the hour is to revolutionise the battery technology for efficient energy storage segment. Offgrid Energy Labs is engaging in this new energy storage ecosystem by inventing ZincGel battery that is meticulously designed to decarbonise and face the larger challenges which are being faced by several incumbents within the energy storage market. Enabling energy transition globally, ZincGel batteries are sustainable and democratises materials that are recyclable and non-flammable. That is where we feel Offgrid Energy Lab's ZincGel based technology will make a significant contribution."

From the perspective of the climate change commitments made by GOI during the COP21 Summit to reduce emission intensity by 33-35 per cent by 2030, it is pertinent to introduce alternative means in the transport sector. Offgrid Energy Labs' innovations are accelerating the shift towards democratised, sustainable, safer, and efficient energy storage solutions. The company primarily focuses on renewable energy storage, microgrids, electric vehicle charging and grid applications in utilities. Deploying non-toxic materials that are globally available in abundance, ZincGel battery technology will ensure its faster adoption in energy storage. The company has envisaged two major sources of revenue: through licensing the battery technology and by use of its novel electrolyte by existing battery manufactures.

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