“Necessity is the mother of invention” – Plato; a strong message that captures the true essence of technological innovation.

When we talk about innovation, we imagine a very standard term that is mostly used to fuel conversation in today’s world. Whether it’s smartphones, laptops, tablets, software, and more, today’s innovation is driven by the economic “desire” for a comfortable existence itself. Humans prefer inertia, and the irresistible changes caused by climate change have caused an evolution in the way transportation takes place. This is where EVs come in.

Electric vehicles are older than we know. Practical electric vehicles came into existence around the 1890s. One of these vehicles even won the Vehicular Land Speed ​​Award until 1900. However, compared to the combustion engines of the early 20e century, electric vehicles have taken a back seat due to shorter range, high costs and low top speed.

As the Green Revolution slowly waned, the climate change debate reignited the global need for drastic action to meet sustainability goals. Electric vehicles have filled this gap like a puzzle piece, becoming the brand ambassador of a brighter future. However, innovation knows no bounds and we are taking it to the next level.

An overflowing example of this would be Reliance Industries acquiring an unknown UK startup – Faradion earlier this year, for their proprietary sodium-ion batteries. Compared to standard lithium-ion batteries, they have better safety features without compromising power. Although the difference may seem marginal, it is anything but essential.

“The present is theirs, the future, for which I really worked, is mine”, Nikola Tesla. So moving to the next level means pushing our limits harder and harder. Another example that resonates with this message is the massive impact of Adani Green Energy pioneering renewable energy to transform India. The conglomerate has already invested 12 billion USD and is expected to invest another 20 billion USD over the next 10 years.

With upcoming technologies such as Vehicle to Grid (V2G) systems, wireless charging of electric vehicles, wireless charging, ultra-fast charging capability, etc., the cascade of innovations in this industry encompasses the epitome of Charles Koch – the pioneering visionary of the climate change movement.

“People should profit only to the extent that they improve the lives of others”, Charles Koch.

India as a country is teetering in disparity, confined in today’s uncertain global economic climate. Koch’s core ideology resonates with every fiber of India being more than ever. With Chinese control of more than 70% of the world’s lithium and cobalt deposits, despite a lack of national reserves, India invites to jump to the sodium ion. Like fire for mankind, the sodium ion is a beacon of light in dark times for Atmanirbhar Bharat. Consolidation of desired raw materials and rapid industrialization must be at the center of our journey towards a sustainable future. A recent purchase by Reliance Industries of a sodium battery maker for $136 million is boosting morale that India may well emerge as the dark horse in the battle against climate change.

Using the spirit of apex bodies like the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), standardizing this technological opportunity which presents itself at a key moment, can be the pivot Made in India Needs. Enacting stringent policies to stratify manufacturing processes and protect consumer safety can help us embrace sodium-ion technology in a way that propels India to become a global leader in clean and renewable energy.

The impact of sodium-ion batteries will be similar to what Android has done in the operating system market – putting power in the hands of the masses.

“The society in which people enjoy supreme power, is the true repository of freedom”, Marcus Tullius Cicero.

The main innovations related to the EV perspective relate to the development of two-way charging. It catapults the position of today’s electric vehicles into a mobile energy asset that can do wonders for the country’s grid management. The development of this technology gives birth to the dream of lighting up every home in the country, even in the most energy-deficient and hard-to-reach places. A future where electricity can be stored in mobile vehicles for re-use can save us from the fate of man-made calamities like the grid collapse we witnessed in the North and East in 2020.

Along with this, battery swap technology talks are a very effective way to effectively manage efficiency. However, until standardization and certification are achieved for the same, it can be a very difficult beast to tame. The introduction of a system of common battery sizes based on vehicle class and uniform connectors is key to unlocking the true potential of this system. Companies like Oye Rickshaw are leveraging this technology to create great value for stakeholders. Strengthening it nationally with insightful interventions is essential for prosperity.

Thus, the electric vehicle sector contains the potential of a goliath worth harvesting. Propel Made in India and do Bharat Atmanirbhar, a focused approach that layers, integrates and unifies next-level technological innovation, placing power in the hands of the common man, is needed more than ever.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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