Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, or IITM are developing new battery technology as an alternative to Lithium-ion batteries. They are developing mechanically rechargeable Zinc-air batteries for Electric vehicles. This new battery technology requires ‘Battery Swapping’ in which vehicle users can swap their used zinc cassettes of the battery with fully charged zinc cassettes at these Zinc recharge stations. This is a major advantage of Zinc-air batteries compared to Lithium-ion batteries, in Lithium-ion batteries entire used battery pack has to be replaced with a complete lithium-ion battery pack.
These batteries are economical and have longer shelf life compared to Lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries cost around $200/KWhr but zinc-air batteries cost around $150/KWhr. Going forward the price is expected to come below $100/KWhr.
As per the researchers, Zinc-air batteries are extremely safe as it has an aqueous electrolyte, and it doesn’t catch fire even in worst-case scenarios.