Lithium ion Batteries for E Vehicles

Currently most electric three-wheelers in India use lead acid batteries, which have a shorter life, duration, long charging time of 10 hours, and excess weight. Lead acid batteries typically have to be replaced every year and weigh around 120kg for an e-rickshaw application.

Along with its Technology partners for lithium ion batteries, Accord has developed and tested lithium ion batteries for application on the e-rikshaw's. The vehicle with this new battery is currently under homologation and will be launched with the Support of E rikshaw manufacturer's. Accord technologies shall provide the entire kit including the battery, BMS (battery management system) and charger to its customers. While the lithium ion battery costs around Rs 55,000-60,000 more than a conventional lead acid battery, the additional cost can be offset by the much longer battery life, higher confidence of financiers, service back-up and fast charging facility. The company says it is keen to explore models such as battery rental, battery swapping and creation of charging points to further help penetration of this technology, along with its partners and the support of the government.

Lithium ion vs lead acid batteries

  • In a lithium-ion battery, high energy density leads to low weight which translates into more kilometres between charges. While a Li-Ion battery weighs 35kg, wherein a 48 V-80 Ah lead acid battery weighs 120kg.
  • While a Li -Ion unit can be charged in only 1.5 to 3 hours, lead acid battery charging time is 8-10 hours or more. Li-Ion cells have a life of 1,500 cycles (NMC) and 3,000 cycles (LeFePo4) – a life up to 5 years. In comparison, lead acid batteries have a typical life of 360 cycles.
  • Li-Ion batteries have a low self-discharge which means if the vehicle is not used for some time, its charge status remains the same.
  • They are also low maintenance. Li-Ion cells, unlike lead acid or nickel cadmium, do not require maintenance to ensure their performance.

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