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Speaking to TOI on Tuesday, Isro chairman K Sivan said, “Today, we held a pre-conference briefing at VSSC for representatives of 137 companies (however, representatives of only 114 firms turned up), which showed interest in battery technology. These companies were invited as they responded to Isro’s request for qualification. To familiarise them with the technology, the representatives were shown the facility, where e-vehicle batteries were developed.” Later, a documentary on development of batteries was screened.
Sivan said, “After the facility visit and conference, if these companies show confidence in taking up the task of mass production of e-vehicle batteries, then they will be asked to submit required documents along with an application and Rs 4 lakh as security deposit. There will be a three-stage evaluation process. A high-level committee, including government representatives, will be set up to scrutinise genuine contenders. If any company backs out during the evaluation process or is not shortlisted, then Isro will return the security deposit. The shortlisted companies will then be asked to pay a one-time fee of Rs 1 crore for technology transfer.”
Sivan clarified that “foreign companies will not be given the technology and the patent will remain with Isro”.
The mass production of Isro-developed lithium-ion 50Ah and 100 Ah capacity cells is essential for accelerating the manufacturing of e-vehicles. Isro’s initiative is in keeping with the government’s effort to fast-track the green vehicle project to give impetus to the zero emission policy along with reduction in the carbon footprint.
VSSC will transfer the technology to the shortlisted firms and help them produce cells of varying size, capacity, energy and power density catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements.
Besides its key role in aerospace and automobile sector, li-ion battery is also used in most consumer electronic gadgets like mobiles, laptops and cameras. It is also significant for telecommunication and industrial applications.