Reliance Industries, the Indian oil refining conglomerate led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, showcased its cutting-edge swappable and multipurpose battery storage technology designed for electric vehicles (EVs). This groundbreaking presentation took place at a renewable energy exhibition, highlighting Reliance's commitment to green initiatives.
Reliance's innovative solution revolves around removable and swappable batteries tailored for EVs, which can also double as power sources for household appliances via an inverter. This dual functionality aims to provide consumers with a versatile energy solution, offering both mobility and home utility. Company executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they lacked authorization to communicate with the media, introduced this game-changing concept.
The flexibility of these batteries extends to their interchangeability at Reliance's battery swap stations or recharging through rooftop solar panels, which the company also plans to market. While specific launch dates for these batteries were not disclosed, Reliance Industries is poised to enter the EV battery market with a strong strategic vision.
This venture into battery storage solutions forms a pivotal part of Reliance's substantial $10 billion commitment to green energy projects. The company's overarching goal is to reduce reliance on its traditional oil-to-chemical business and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2035.
In line with this mission, Reliance Industries made noteworthy acquisitions in 2021 and 2022, investing approximately $200 million in two battery companies. These acquisitions included UK-based Faradion, renowned for its sodium-ion batteries, and Lithium Werks, a prominent producer of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. The exhibition featured the LFP chemistry-based battery as a testament to Reliance's technological prowess.
A company presentation during the event revealed Reliance's ambitious plans, which encompass customizable batteries catering to both business and individual needs, intelligent swap stations, and integrated charging networks. Notably, Reliance does not intend to delve into EV manufacturing but instead seeks strategic partnerships with established EV manufacturers.
Reliance Industries secured a crucial incentive last year to establish a 5 gigawatt hours (GWh) battery manufacturing facility as part of India's $2.4 billion program aimed at bolstering local battery cell production. This state-of-the-art facility, scheduled to commence operations by 2026, will produce batteries and containerized energy storage solutions.
India's focus on clean auto technology is pivotal in its efforts to combat pollution in major cities and meet broader climate objectives. Despite India's immense potential for EV adoption, current market penetration remains limited due to high battery import costs and inadequate charging infrastructure. To address these challenges, the Indian government is actively promoting swappable batteries as a means to reduce costs and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.