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Li-On Batteries for Sustainability

 Dr Archana Verma

Chhavi Aggarwal, Co-Director, iPower Batteries, talks to us about manufacturing Li-On batteries in India

What are the challenges in your work and how do you resolve them?

Chhavi Aggarwal – One of the major challenges we faced was in terms of production as it was a very new industry so people weren’t skilled enough to make this product in India. The initial challenges were training of manpower, we had to bring in experts from various countries around the globe to train our people. Our team visited various factories in different countries to learn the processes of making best quality battery packs. Another challenge which we faced initially was the high cost of this product, even though the product is way more efficient than the traditional lead acid battery which is a standard in India but the high pricing made it difficult for people to accept this product. This problem was solved by the various incentives of central and state government throughout India who have given subsidies to promote EV by factoring in Battery costs.

How did you get the idea to go in this field?

Chhavi Aggarwal – Being into batteries for the past three decades and serving EV industry for over one decade with the intent of serving the community with clean and green technology. We understand that era of mass usage of non-renewable fuels for commute is soon going to end and its time that we move towards usage of sustainable forms of energy, the best way for this is to go electric. We had ample knowledge of the same, the market only became more dynamic and initially it was a challenge to explain why a customer should buy from us rather than others. Though this was also a confidence building stage for us initially but we had some great learning which we are regularly trying to incorporate through our own R&D unit. Today with some of the leading names as our client both in B2B and B2C segment we are confident of offering the fast-paced market with real time fast paced solutions.

As battery providers we wanted to play our part in giving India a push towards the right path of going electric. With the impactful vision of revolutionizing India’s transport system, ipower is fuelling up electric mobility in the nation. We have a pioneering legacy of batteries, now ready to empower India in becoming a 100% EV nation.

How do you ensure quality of your batteries?

Chhavi Aggarwal – In order to ensure quality of all the products, we have made proper quality processes. Not only each raw material undergoes Incoming quality check but at the same time we also check the work in progress product after each step either through machine test or physical tests. To make high quality battery pack every pack is tested from cell level to pack level. After completion of the product, it is tested thoroughly and its checked to deliver high capacity. By following the proper processes and rigorous testing we can proudly say that our company provides Quality Assurance for each product.

What kind of testing measures do you implement and how do you ensure their standard?

Chhavi Aggarwal – To make high quality battery pack every pack is tested from cell level to pack level. Starting from the beginning, each cell is tested properly, moving forward after welding of the module each module welding is checked properly through physical process and ACIR rig. Moving forward, after going through the assembly line where a properly tested BMS (Battery management System) is attached to the product, now it undergoes proper charge and discharge cycle for testing its proper functioning. After this and packing of the battery in its external case it undergoes final testing, if all the tests pass only then this product is dispatched from the factory.

Do you plan to make 100% Make in India batteries in the near future or would you continue to import some parts?

Chhavi Aggarwal – iPower predominantly is committed to manufacturing of Lithium-Ion batteries which include both NMC and LFP chemistries. We are focused on providing tailor made clean energy solutions for various OEMs, 2-Wheeler and 3- Wheelers to drive the EV revolution. The technology used for making the battery packs, except the cells, has been indigenous which is in line with our Make in India commitment. Yes, we are working on R&D to enable the company to become self sufficient in the coming years.

Read also - 5 ways SMEs can become sustainable