Log 9 is able to charge its batteries at significantly higher C rates
Published on : Friday 07-01-2022
Dr Akshay Singhal, CEO & Founder, Log 9 Materials – Rapid Charging Batteries for Electric Vehicles.
Amidst a plethora of start-ups in the EV battery space, what are the notable developments?
We’re seeing developments in the following spaces:
i. Cell-to-pack level materials competency – driven by Log 9 Materials proprietary material technology and cell chemistry, a first in the Indian market
ii. The development of quality energy management systems enabling better performance, and
iii. Increased consumer awareness of battery quality and reliability (in terms of performance and rated life).
With the focus on 2- & 3-wheelers, what is the size of the market and the potential?
We anticipate that the electric 2-wheeler market size (across bikes and scooters) will grow to ~1.3 Mn units by FY25, with vehicles intended for commercial operations accounting for 20% of this figure. In addition, we forecast that the electric 3-wheeler cargo market will grow to 72,000 units by FY25 with 3-wheeler passenger vehicles accounting for an additional 20,000 units. This represents a market opportunity of over $250 Mn by FY 25 for Log 9.
With battery cost alone accounting for 40-50% of EV price, how is it possible to bring down the total cost of EVs in India?
India is currently entirely dependent on imports of EV battery cells, across chemistries. The low volume currently procured – coupled with the lack of domestic supply – sees Indian pack assemblers paying appreciable premiums on a per cell basis. In order to bring the total cost of EVs down, a few things need to happen in concert:
i. Optimise for the deployment of longer life EV batteries such that the total cost of ownership (across the life of the vehicle) is kept as low as possible
ii. Enabling the competitive financing of EV’s (with respect to cost of capital and loan tenors) such that the mass market segments (commercial and retail) are able to viably procure EVs, and
iii. Indigenise production of battery components based on raw material availability – both in terms of building cell competency to ensure value add on existing raw material supply, for example India is the world’s second largest producer of aluminium but we produce zero battery grade aluminium foil.
You are talking about a lease model for commercial vehicle use. Is this feasible?
Yes, by offering EVs on a lease model, fleet operators will be able to convert capital expenditure into operating expenditure whilst reaping the benefit of lowered operating costs courtesy switching to Electric Vehicles. In addition, with the cost of the battery being 60-70% of the value of the vehicle, a battery-as-a-service model will help achieve the same, wherein the fleet operator will be able to lower their upfront capital requirement while optimising for operating costs.
What technology is Log 9 Materials using for its fast charge batteries? What is the scope of the strategic collaboration with ARBL?
Log 9 is able to leverage its expertise in materials chemistry and nanotechnology, to develop ground up battery cell technology relevant for Indian markets with superior cycle life, power density and safety. By solving for these factors, Log 9 is able to charge its batteries at significantly higher C rates (the rate at which a battery can be charged or discharged) while ensuring that the rated life of the battery isn’t compromised in any way, shape or form.
What is the USP of these batteries vis-à-vis the competition?
Log 9’s batteries are able to offer 9x faster charging (12-15 minutes for a 2W and 35-45 minutes for a 3W), 9x longer life (up to 40,000 cycles), 9x performance (peak C rate of 60) while being extremely safe, with operating temperatures of between -30 to 60° Celsius.
What kind of ecosystem Log 9 Materials is seeking to create with various partnerships?
Log 9 Materials is looking to create a viable ecosystem that enables and encourages the adoption of commercial EVs and to make their use not merely seamless but an actively pleasant activity. To that end we’re collaborating with our OEM partners to bring rapid charging battery packs to the market while working with charge-point operators to aggregate charging stations into the Log 9 Instacharge Network. In addition, Log 9 will be setting up flagship Instacharge stations in order to make vehicle charging an experience to look forward to while also deploying mobile fast chargers via Instacharge-on-demand, allowing fleet operators to benefit from rapid charging even in areas with no built-up infrastructure.
Going forward, what are the trends we are most likely to witness in 2022?
The key trends we’re likely to see play out in the Indian ecosystem can be summarised as follows:
a. Increased financier comfort with EV platforms: As deployments of EVs increase in the coming months and as operators and financiers collate more on-ground data, we’re likely to see upside in the cost and ease of financing EV platforms – particularly in the commercial use case. With the World Bank and Niti Aayog collaborating to create a first loss risk sharing program (with $ 300 Mn rising to $1.5 Bn in financing) the instrument would act as a hedging mechanism, allowing banks and other lenders to offset losses incurred on EV loan defaults. The resulting reduction in financing costs is estimated to be 10-12%.
b. Increased vehicular deployment via Mobility-as-a-Service and Battery-as-a-Service: With a large percentage of the value of an EV sitting with the battery pack – fleet operators are turning to deferred payment structures wherein the entire vehicle or just the battery pack is offered on an operating lease – lowering upfront costs and allowing for aggressive deployments.
c. Cleaning up the grid: EVs are truly environmentally advantageous only if the energy source is sustainable/green – using coal/gas generated power to charge EVs offsets the benefits of lower emissions. With the Government's aggressive solar power deployment target (500 GW of capacity by 2030, with 100 GW by the end of 2022) this is only possible with large scale stationary power storage – which is another core value proposition of Log 9’s battery technology which offers a battery life in excess of 40,000 cycles in the stationary use case - comfortably matching the expected life of a solar plant.
Dr Akshay Singhal is the Founder & CEO of Log 9 Materials. He is a young and dynamic entrepreneur and a 2019 Forbes Under30 Asia awardee, who stands to solve the pressing global issue of climate change with the power of nanotechnology and innovation. His start-up Log 9 Materials “nannovates” with the objective to pave a sustainable and better future for the humankind by using the wonder material – ‘Graphene’.
Akshay completed his bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from IIT-Roorkee in 2015; he was a Silver Medal recipient from the institute for his extensive research during his undergraduate studies and had also acquired research experience from University of Alberta, Canada. With his deep research and practical experience, Akshay realised that there is a growing need of commercial production of high-quality nanomaterials like Graphene and related commercial products; with that in mind, he decided to start his own venture Log 9 Materials.