In its quest to embrace emerging energy alternatives and to firm up viable, customer-convenient automobile battery technology options, Indian Oil Corporation (IndianOil) has firmed up its equity participation in Phinergy, Israel, for production of metal-air batteries.

Phinergy specialises in aluminium-air (Al-Air) and zinc-air battery systems that have great potential applications in electric mobility and stationary applications. Aluminium is naturally available in India and their extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established. IndianOil’s collaboration with Phinergy in the field of Al-Air will help in reducing import dependence of the country and isolates the country’s energy requirements from global geo-political and currency risks.

To start with, IndianOil has taken a minority equity stake in Phinergy (Israel). IndianOil and Phinergy are now in the process of forming a Joint Venture in India for collaboration in the field of Al-Air battery system including research & development, customization, manufacturing, assembly, sell and service of aluminium-air energy systems technology. The joint venture intends to setup a factory in India to manufacture Al-Air batteries for Electric Vehicles and stationary applications and facilitate development of eco-system for Al-Air technology.

Referring to the affirmative step in battery technology space, Mr. Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, IndianOil, said that IndianOil is evaluating and firming up a number of opportunities to provide Indian automobile consumers feasible and scalable alternative energy options. “We are confident that this Al-Air battery technology would complement Lithium ion batteries to provide a hybrid solution for large-scale adoption of electric vehicles in the country. Al-air battery technology has advantages on a number of factors like range, energy density, safety of operations, life-cycle etc., the India-centric,” he added.

Phinergy is a start-up in clean and high energy-density battery systems based on metal-air technology, which generates electricity using aluminium or zinc as an energy source mainly. Phinergy’s CEO, Mr. David Mayer added “Phinergy is glad to join forces with IOCL and share the vision of enabling clean and affordable energy solutions for India”.

Both companies are in discussions with leading auto manufactures for adoption of this technology in 3Ws, cars & buses, and they have also shown interest in evaluation and subsequent adoption of this technology.