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A Major EV Battery Bet for India Is on Aluminum Over Lithium

  • Indian Oil, local automakers test Israeli startup’s technology
  • India produces no lithium and wants to cut reliance on imports
Phinergy system for electric vehicles.
Phinergy system for electric vehicles.Source: Phinergy Ltd.

A drive to reduce dependence on imported materials and technology, especially from China, is pushing India to invest in a battery technology that uses aluminum rather than lithium as the key ingredient. Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest oil refiner, has teamed up with startup Phinergy Ltd. to develop the Israeli company’s aluminum-air battery.

India has few exploitable options to produce lithium, the key metal for the current generation of electric-vehicle batteries, but its eastern jungles hold large reserves of bauxite, the ore used to make aluminum.