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ARAI joins hands with Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre to develop cheaper batteries for electric cars

January 5, 2016: One reason for the lack of enthusiasm on the part of consumers towards electric and hybrid cars is the high cost of batteries. But things are likely to change, with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) joining hands with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre to develop batteries for passenger cars, sourcing technology that is used to power spacecraft.

The Pune-based ARAI will design and develop car batteries and offer the technology to automobile firms for mass production. Indigenous manufacturing of batteries will lower the cost to less than a tenth of imported batteries.

According to Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director, ARAI, the association will develop and test batteries for use in electric and hybrid vehicles, before offering to transfer the technology to producers for mass production.

The central government offers incentives of up to Rs29,000 for electric and hybrid motorcycles and Rs138,000 for cars. It has also approved an initial outlay of Rs750 million to promote electric and hybrid cars.

“The concept for automobile batteries is the same as those used for space vehicles,” says K. Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. “Now with the ARAI collaboration, it will be tested for use in cars. The third stage will be to pass on the technology to a mass manufacturer, when complementary technology aspects and volumes will determine affordability.”