Pune’s KPIT Technologies Aims for Global Impact with Sodium-Ion Battery Tech

Pune-based KPIT Technologies reveals its sodium-ion battery technology after eight years of development. With potential cost savings and faster charging, the technology is poised for global adoption in the evolving electric vehicle market.

Pune-based technology firm KPIT Technologies has officially unveiled its sodium-ion battery technology, marking a significant step forward in the pursuit of alternatives to conventional lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. Developed over eight years, the technology is now poised for adoption by manufacturers.

Ravi Pandit, Co-founder and Chairman of KPIT Technologies explained that the technology had undergone rigorous internal testing, reaching Level 7 of the testing and validation stage. The next phase, expected to span 6-12 months, involves external trials with manufacturing partners before entering commercial production.

Key Features of Sodium-Ion Battery Technology:

1. Cost Efficiency: Sodium-ion batteries are projected to be “up to 30% cheaper than a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery,” according to Pandit. Given that 40% to 60% of an electric vehicle’s cost is attributed to its battery, this cost advantage could significantly impact the overall affordability of electric vehicles.

2. Fast Charging: Sodium-ion chemistry enables rapid charging, potentially reaching “almost 100% in 20 minutes.” This rapid charging capability, coupled with long battery life, positions sodium-ion technology as a competitive and cost-effective solution.

3. Safety Advantages: Sodium-ion batteries exhibit fewer fire hazards during transportation, given their lack of over-discharge characteristics. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries can be discharged to zero volts without degradation.

Global Licensing and Revenue Generation:

Set to be licensed within the next 12-18 months, KPIT’s sodium-ion technology is expected to generate substantial revenue after a year, with some revenue anticipated during the initial testing phase. KPIT is currently engaging with existing auto industry players and those involved in various energy storage use cases.

Pandit highlighted that KPIT is the first Indian company to launch sodium-ion technology and is among only 4-5 globally with a matured technology solution in this domain. The company envisions a global role for its sodium-ion battery technology.

Global Landscape of Sodium-Ion Battery Technology:

Several global players, including China’s CATL, BYD, Swedish firm Northvolt, and UK-based Faradion (now part of Reliance Industries), are actively exploring sodium-ion battery technologies. As manufacturing scales up, sodium-ion batteries could emerge as a strong contender in the evolving energy mix for the transportation sector.