Context: India, through a state-owned company Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, has signed a pact with an Argentine firm to jointly prospect lithium in Argentina.
The new company, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd — incorporated in August, 2019 by three state-owned companies, NALCO, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Ltd, with a specific mandate to acquire strategic mineral assets such as lithium and cobalt abroad — is also learnt to be exploring options in Chile and Bolivia, two other top lithium-producing countries.
Currently, India is heavily dependent on import of these cells and the move to ink sourcing pacts for lithium is also seen as a move to reduce its dependency on China which is a key source of both the raw material and cells.
India is seen as a late mover as it attempts to enter the lithium value chain, coming at a time when Electric Vehicles are predicted to be a sector ripe for disruption.
2021 is likely to be a turning point for battery technology, with several potential improvements to the Li-ion technology, and alternatives to this tried-and-tested formulation, under advanced stages of commercialisation.
About Li-ion Batteries:
A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery.
Li-ion batteries use an intercalated (Intercalation is the reversible inclusion or insertion of a molecule into materials with layered structures) lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery.
The battery consists of electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the constituent components of a lithium-ion battery cell.
Lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.
Lithium-ion Battery Applications:
Electronic gadgets, Tele-communication, Aerospace, Industrial applications.
Lithium-ion battery technology has made it the favourite power source for electric and hybrid electric vehicles.