ISRO has shortlisted 15 firms to transfer the manufacturing technology of lithium-ion (Li ion) batteries for electric vehicles (EV). This move could make EVs cheaper, since imported Li ion batteries constitute the big expense factor of EVs.
In an interview published by Financial Express, S Somanath, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the rocket sciences node of ISRO mentioned that
We have communicated to the shortlisted firms that they will have to give a one-time fee of `1 crore. We have avoided firms with exposure to foreign equity in identifying the qualifying industrial houses or start-ups.
In the month of June 2018, ISRO issued the Request for Qualification (RFQ), in connection with the technology transfer, containing a brief description of the qualification aspects, technology transfer process, timelines and other relevant details. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) received response from 141 companies for its lithium ion cell technology.
As training manpower is scarce, technology-buyers will have to come to VSSC and familiarise themselves with every step, from transfer to documentation. ISRO sources its Li ion cell batteries (1.5 to 100 amps), to power its rockets and satellites, from Bharat Electronics, to which it has transferred the technology. The battery life is about 15 years.
A group of tech enthusiasts who are tracking latest developments in CleanTech with special focus on Energy Storage and Electric Mobility