Smartphone batteries attract a 15 percent import duty in India, and making them locally would bring down the cost of smartphones in the world’s largest smartphone market after China. A major cost of electric vehicle is the Li-ion battery component which can be brought down too
Indian entrepreneurs now have a chance to facilitate just that, become large-scale battery manufacturers in the process, and help advance the maturity of the entire components ecosystem in the country.
Indian Space Research Organisation, or Isro, has offered to transfer its high-end battery-making knowhow for Lithium-ion cells — the preferred choice for a host of products, from smartphones to electric vehicles. Isro has released a statement on its website, calling on entrepreneurs and startups to apply for qualification for this technology transfer.
While China’s Xiaomi and Korean electronics giant Samsung, the market leaders in India’s smartphone market, make most of the phones they sell here locally, Apple stands out for importing most of the phones it sells in India. A case could be made for an enterprising entrepreneur taking up Isro’s technology and making batteries to Apple’s specifications, which would go some way in making the California company’s aspirational products more accessible to Indian buyers.
Isro’s statement says, it “intends to qualify and shortlist suitable industries in India/ Start-ups-based on eligibility criteria through an open evaluation process.”
Presently, Lithium-ion battery is the most dominating battery system which finds applications for a variety of societal needs including mobile phones, laptops, PDA, cameras and many other portable consumer gadgets. Recent advances in Li-ion battery technology have made it the preferred power source for electric and hybrid electric vehicles also. Li-ion cells find wide applications in electronic gadgets, telecommunication, industrial applications as well as in aerospace, Isro said in its statement.
The technology transfer will be made by Isro’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre to those who qualify on a non-exclusive basis to establish Li-ion cell production facilities in the country that can produce cells of varying size, capacity, energy density and power density “catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements,” Isro said in its statement.