We have ensured that majority of the processes are automated
Published by : Industrial Automation
Vikas Aggarwal, Managing Director, IPower Batteries Pvt Ltd.
What is the background of the company – is it a recent startup or an ongoing concern?
IPower Batteries Pvt Ltd was incorporated in December 2019, with the intent of manufacturing Lithium Ion Batteries for Automotive and Allied Applications. IPower, with its three decades worth of experience in the green energy segment, is on a mission to power electric mobility solutions in India and abroad. Its parent company, Computech Systems, has been in the energy storage sector since 1992. With almost three decades worth of experience as a clean energy storage provider and 10 years in Electric Mobility, the company comes with a strong backing and product development in the segment.
What are the battery types manufactured? Is this an indigenous technology or based on imports? What about the raw materials?
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- and 3-wheelers. The technology used for making the battery packs, except the cells, has been indigenous which is in line with our Make in India commitment.
How big is the R&D operation and the type of research conducted?
Our R&D unit is based in Kundli, Haryana, housed in a 50,000 sq.ft state-of-the-art facility. We have all governmental compliances like ICAT, ARAI, and government recognition for our R&D are in place. We have a dedicated team of 14 people who devote their time to R&D alone.
As EVs are gaining in popularity – 2-, 3- and 4-wheelers – is the charging infrastructure keeping pace? Where do swappable batteries fit in?
The demand for Electric Vehicles is growing rapidly in India due to proper awareness of the end consumer and with numerous government schemes supporting a transition to greener mobility. Presently, India doesn’t have sufficient charging infrastructure to support the fast-paced growth in requirement. Looking at some drawbacks of charging stations, which include the long time for recharge in comparison to quick refuelling in combustion engines, we understand that charging conventionally for 2- and 3-wheelers might not be efficient. In order to replace the combustion engine system, we need a quicker way to refuel our vehicle, this is why battery swapping is necessary for the EV ecosystem. IPower understands this and has developed a state-of-the-art swappable and modular battery, which can be used both for 2- and 3-wheelers. We have also created intelligent swapping stations which are compatible with the battery and charges and swaps the battery efficiently.
What kinds of manufacturing facilities IPower has? Covid has been an eye-opener, so what is the level of automation?
Our manufacturing unit in Kundli, Haryana which is a 50,000 sq.ft state-of-the-art facility, is fully IMS certified (ISO 9001-2015, 14001:2015, 45001:2018), and producing high-quality Lithium-Ion batteries. After Covid, IPower understands that its manpower is the most important aspect and their wellbeing has become the company’s top priority. At our manufacturing facility we have ensured that the majority of the processes are automated and at the same time each person of the IPower team remains sanitised and wears masks.
What is the ecosystem of EVs you see emerging in India?
Currently we are in the advent phase of the age of Electric Vehicles in India and it is expected to become more important in the near future with rising demand on various fronts. We understand that the era of mass usage of non-renewable fuels for commuting is soon coming to an end; it is time we move towards sustainable forms of energy, and the best way is to go electric. The spark of switching to electric is now visible in the demands most people make as the government itself has undertaken various initiatives to promote electric vehicles in the country. The country has an ambitious target of becoming an EV nation by 2030. In the process toward mass adoption of electric vehicles in the country, the government has also announced many schemes and incentives like the FAME policy. Therefore, the growth in the Indian EV market is expected to have a direct impact on the growth of the lithium-ion battery market in the country and thereby driving the market. With this growing ecosystem for EVs, IPower has emerged as an end-to-end energy provider for the ecosystem in the energy space. We empower the mobility space by providing batteries, chargers and other allied products. With this, we have also developed a state-of-the-art structure to create an ecosystem of swapping stations and swappable batteries.
Are you also looking at the export market?
Currently, IPower has its presence pan India and caters to various OEMs in it through its network of 200+ dealers and after sales service centres. By using our present outreach and innovative products as stepping stones, we are also looking to prepare ourselves for the export market.