TNI || New Delhi || 25th April 2022
Log9, a 7-year-old advanced battery technology startup, seeks to get a first-mover advantage without taking part in the government’s ambitious INR 18,000 crore PLI scheme for improved cell chemistry.
Log9, a Bengaluru-based bootstrapped lithium-ion cell producer, intends to build India’s first Gigafactory by 2025.
Even though it only has a 25-megawatt-hour (MWh) capacity and an investment of about $25 million (INR 190 crore), it has a pretty ambitious growth plan.
With a 50 MWh cell manufacturing capability, Log9 expects to raise battery pack output from 10,000 units now to 40,000 units by June and 4 lakh units by March next year.
This would cost an extra $15 million per year (INR 110 crore). That is, though, just a warm-up. By 2025, India’s first giga plant should be operational, with plans to expand to 5 GWh by 2027 and 25 GWh by the end of the decade.
The project will cost more than INR 10,000 crore to complete.
Log9’s CEO and founder, Akshay Singhal, believes that his business is too small to qualify for the PLI programme.
Cell production, on the other hand, is urgently needed, and the chemistry employed must be suited for India.
The company’s ambition is to be the world’s leading battery solutions provider. By 2025, the brand should have reached gigafactory level.
The target is to achieve 5 GWh by 2026 or 2027. By the end of the decade, Log9 hopes to have increased this to 20–25 GWh.
The absence of lithium-ion cell production in India limits India’s electric mobility.
Because of a lack of supervision over production in places like China, poor quality units can make their way into market, leading concerns like fire hazards in automobiles.
Log9 is currently focusing on commercial customers who employ two-and three-wheeled vehicles, as well as smaller commercial trucks.
For that purpose, their batteries and cells are ideal. Thanks to the company’s adjustable setup, cells may be created for a broad spectrum of vehicles and applications, not just automotive.
Log9’s facility can manufacture LTO (lithium titanate) and LFP (lithium phosphite) cells (lithium iron phosphate).
NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) has been left out of the mix because it is more energy efficient but less resistant to high temperatures. The most secure is LTO, that has less energy as compared to LFP, which has a larger energy density but is less stable.
Higher stability comes with a price, with LTO costing roughly twice as much as NMC.
When handling high temperatures and energy density, Akshay Singhal says it’s critical to keep stability in mind.
NMC is unsuitable for India’s tropical climate, which is characterised by temperature extremes. It’s one of the causes behind the recent string of fires.
For commercial customers that cannot afford to wait for their gadgets to charge for long periods of time, LTO is the most suitable option.
For those who use their vehicle more regularly, higher technology expenses are very much compensated by lower operating costs.