Allox is India’s biggest producer of carbon-coated lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), also known as LFP. By 2022/23, the company expects to have put up a facility to begin building battery packs for electric mobility.
The inability to manufacture lithium-ion cells in India, a critical component of batteries used to power your automobiles, is one of the largest roadblocks in the Indian electric mobility market. India’s entire feed of lithium-ion cells is imported from China and Taiwan and built into batteries locally.
Lithium-ion batteries account for 40 to 50 percent of an electric vehicle’s cost (EV). Sadly, in India, EV battery manufacturing is primarily about assembling batteries rather than creating, developing, and manufacturing them from the ground up. You’ll need cells to build lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Anode materials, cathode materials, separators, binders, and other components are required for these cells. Because you require lithium, India does not have a cathode factory.
Allox, according to Mourya, is India’s biggest producer of carbon-coated lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), also known as LFP, which is used as a cathode material in lithium-ion batteries.
These LFP batteries are one of the most often utilised compositions, with uses ranging from electric vehicles to household batteries to grid-scale applications. The great energy storage, insulating, and heat resistance properties of lithium carbonate contribute to its strength.
Allox imports high-quality, battery-grade lithium carbonate from South American partner mines.
When it reaches India, it is enhanced into LFP using a patented technique for which indigenously created technology was purchased from the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) in August 2021.
Agreement to assist in the development of Li-Ion BatteriesARCI and Allox have inked a technology transfer agreement. “LFP is the most suitable cell chemistry for Indian conditions.”
However, India lags behind in cathode material manufacturing because, until recently, people were focused on NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide), which was widely regarded as the ideal material for use as a cathode material in batteries.
The NMC chemistry, on the other hand, lacks temperature stability in tropical circumstances, which is a significant disadvantage.
Mourya says, “The LFP battery chemistry is most suited for a country with a diversity of climatic variables, such as India, because of its greater thermal stability.”
Aside from C-LFP (carbon-coated LFP), ARCI has developed the technique for producing LTO, a lithium titanate anode material.Experiments to combine LFP as a cathode with LTO as an anode are being conducted all over the world, including India.
If and when the chemistry works out, it will be a huge benefit to Indian EV OEMs because it will provide thermal stability and quick charging. Having said that, the lithium-ion battery sector is more than only electric mobility, which accounts for only a small portion of its application.
“ARCI’s proprietary technology has shown to create higher-quality C-LFPs than those found in Chinese battery cells We are the first firm in India to manufacture it, and we plan to begin commercial production by the end of 2023. We currently have a capacity of 50 kg of C-LFP per day, but our engineers and technological partners are aiming to enhance that to 10-15 tonnes per day. In addition to mass-producing C-LFP, we are collaborating with the Telangana government to assure an uninterrupted supply of lithium carbonate from diverse regions of the world in order to lessen reliance on China “he claims.
Indeed, according to a report published on August 25, 2021 in PV [Photovoltaic Markets and Technology] Magazine,
“The company, through a joint venture led by a Telangana government corporation, is purchasing lithium mining rights in Bolivia and Brazil, as well as critical battery-related minerals in India, to assure an uninterrupted supply chain to present and prospective industries.
It has already formed strategic alliances with two enterprises in Bolivia and Brazil.”
Mourya and Rajiv Reddy, an industrial engineer, co-founded Allox in 2016 as a mining firm with the goal of discovering hardly encountered minerals and sourcing them back to India by purchasing mining rights worldwide.
They are now bootstrapped, have zeroed in on lithium, and are focused on selling C-LFPs to companies establishing themselves to produce battery cells.
Furthermore, in May 2021, the Government of India announced a Rs 18,100 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the development of Advanced Chemistry Cells in order to encourage Indian firms to build this industry (ACC).
ACCs are the next generation of sophisticated storage technologies that can store electricity as electrochemical or chemical energy and then convert it back to electricity as needed.
Because all ACC demand in India is now satisfied by imports, the project aims to reduce import dependence by establishing a total of 50 GWh of ACC manufacturing facilities.
“However, according to a storey published in Mercom India on January 17, 2022, “the Ministry of Heavy Industries tender to create 50 GWh of advanced-chemistry battery cell manufacturing units in India under its production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme has obtained bids for 130 GWh of capacity.”
“By 2023, India’s need for C-LFP will be 100,000-150,000 tonnes per year,” Mourya says.
Even if Allox decides to sell C-LFPs tomorrow, no one will buy them because these businesses are still establishing the battery cell manufacturing industry.
“Many of them will only be operating at 25% capacity by the beginning of 2024.”
However, by Q4 of FY 2022/23, we anticipate to have put up a facility to begin building C-LFPs.
“We’ll be up and running with production by the end of 2023, even though we’ll have to export the majority of our products until Indian firms are ready,” he explains.
“Our target customers are all the major brands who are entering into the PLI system, notably significant Indian firms,” he says of Allox’s market.
Once we offer C-LFP to battery cell producers, our duty in terms of electric car initiatives is complete.
These companies will be the ones to supply battery packs to OEMs in the electric mobility space. Eventually, Indian OEMs realised that the LFP battery chemistry, with its improved thermal stability, is best suited for a country with a variety of climatic conditions like India,” Mourya notes.