Found: Reserves of lithium, critical for EV batteries near Bengaluru

Researchers at the Atomic Minerals Directorate have estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes in a patch of land surveyed in Mandya, 100 km from Bengaluru. The quantity, though is quite small compared to what China produces (8.6 million tonnes). India currently imports all its lithium needs. It imported lithium batteries worth $1.2 billion in fiscal 2019, up from $384 million in FY17.

EV sales drop; FAME II subsidies need to be reworked

As per SMEV data, sales of FAME II qualified electric two-wheelers in April-December 2019 period stood at just 3,000 units as against 48,671 units in the year-ago period when FAME I was in place, a decline of 93.84 per cent. The government needs to have a rework on FAME II, especially eligibility criteria based on range and battery power while also relaxing localisation level, which will be 75 per cent from March this year, up from 50 per cent since March 1, 2019.

Electric cars could be charged in 10 minutes in the future

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University have claimed a breakthrough that could resolve the key concerns of range anxiety and recharge time – 10 minutes of charging for 200 miles (320 km approx.). Published in the journal Joule, the researches say that charging at this speed requires the vehicle to take in 400 kilowatts of energy at a rapid pace. The current technology is constrained in this aspect as this may cause lithium plating, the build up of metallic lithium around the anode, degrading battery life. To pull this off, the researchers would raise the temperature of the experimental battery to 60 degrees celsius during the charge cycle, and reduce it gradually as it was used. Scaling up the design and ensuring safety during the temperature elevation as well as the large amounts of energy transfer may take up to a decade, according to experts.

Launch of Maruti Suzuki Wagon R EV delayed

Maruti Suzuki has revealed in a recent press conference that the expected launch date of its electric variant of Wagon R has been pushed beyond its original 2020 timeline. The car is expected to have a 130km range and support for fast-charging and was being tested over the past year. Maruti Suzuki executives have told the media that the company believes the lack of EV charging infrastructure and high prices are a major impediment. Until these isses are resolved, the company appears to be more committed to introducing hybrid vehicles. Competitors like Hyundai have already gone ahead and taken the plunge, having released the all-electric Kona earlier this year while Mahindra plans on bringing the XUV300’s fully electric variant next year.