Energy Sciences

Title :

Development of a prototype metal air battery driven electrical drive for a city bus duty

Area of research :

Energy Sciences

Focus area :

Electric Vehicles

Principal Investigator :

Dr Aravind Kumar Chandiran, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras

Timeline Start Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Most of the present-day electric vehicles run on Li-ion batteries because of their high specific capacity and proven technology. In spite of the advancements, issues like long recharging time, which run into the order of several hours, and the non-availability of proven recycling technology to extract Li and other essential elements from them, remain. In addition, India does not have the mineral reserves of Li, and Co to create a self-sustaining manufacturing domain. Considering these scientific issues and at the same time promoting the Make in India concept, investigators have proposed another mature technology based on mechanically rechargeable Zn-air batteries that were previously explored for electric vehicles. And since these systems are primary batteries with mechanically replaceable anode compartments, they shall expect ultrafast recharging in the order of a few minutes. The cost per kWh is also expected to be at least less than one-half of the conventional Li-ion batteries. However, the ability of the cathode to perform at large-scale implementation and the mechanism of failure are not known. In order to evaluate their readiness, identify the pitfalls at the pack level and provide solutions, in this project, it is proposed to design and fabricate mechanically rechargeable Zinc air battery packs to run 5 kW motor drive that simulates electric vehicles. Each of the packs will be of 15Ah capacity and 24 Volts and they will be connected in series to run the motor drive. The novelty lies in the design of the battery pack for maximum power and ultrafast electrode replacement. It is also expected that this project will lead to the understanding of the failure mechanism of the Zn-air batteries that will facilitate the better design of batteries.


Dr Kamalesh Hatua, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras

Total Budget (INR):


Organizations involved