EXCLUSIVE | Utkarsh Singh, BatX Energies: Standardization will strengthen the EV business

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Utkarsh Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of BatX Energies Pvt. Ltd, in an exclusive chat with Mediabrief, reflects on his entrepreneurial journey and shares how BatX Energies has been pioneering in the EV business with Lithium-Ion battery. He discusses the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the business, the shift in consumers’ preference for sustainable products, and how government intervention could help the EV industry grow.

Tell us about BatX Energies, its offerings, and the idea behind its conception?

After 2 years of conceptualising and working rigorously to develop a coherent R&D, Vikrant Singh and I founded BatX Energies on 7th July 2020. We are committed to preserving rare precious metals that go inside lithium-ion batteries. We have developed an inhouse technology where we are to extract Cobalt, nickel, Manganese and Lithium up to 90% purity. We target to make these materials ready to be reused infinite times. 

With our experience, we found that often scrap batteries from eclectic cars and high-speed electric vehicles have some energy left in them. We harvest that energy by making second-life batteries for power backup consumer electronics and low energy consumption mobility batteries. 

We recently launched a wall-mounted home inverter with lithium-ion batteries to cater to the needs of the Indian Market, this removes the hassle of lead-acid batteries and promotes sustainable technology. 

We aim to create a unique concept that caters to sustainable and quality products. Additionally, we have appropriate logistics networks for the safe transportation of lithium-ion batteries. 

What have you learned from being an entrepreneur?

The entrepreneur journey is coupled with both ups and downs, some days are full of challenges and some days are lighter. The growth of a business or self is primarily dependent on your own thoughts and intuition. It is imperatively important to build self-belief.

As an entrepreneur, it is important to be open towards new ideas or learnings which will imply business growth. One should be aware of the developments occurring across the industry, which could provide opportunities for business growth.  Value of time is also one of the key lessons in scrutinizing one to prioritize your life and business.

Additionally, an entrepreneur should always be encouraging and motivating towards its team and ensure their growth and give them exciting opportunities.

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BatX Energies is developing advanced lithium-ion battery solutions. What are some of the advantages of it?

As one of the domains of our business, we decided to develop first life lithium-ion batteries seeing the huge demand and supply gap in the market as the EV market is expected to grow 36% CAGR and touch US$206 billion by 2030. We are focused on delivering value to our customers, being experts in advanced battery development which delivers powerful performance, we deliver the first life batteries for electric mobility and energy storage applications. 

Our batteries have advanced BMS which work on CAN/RS485 technology, batteries can communicate with chargers. With long-term R&D we have studied the high thermal points in the battery for which we give a forced convection cooling system. 

Our company’s principle is that our batteries will always go an extra mile, therefore we always give more number of cells in our batteries which make them more powerful, keeping the same cost as other competitors. 

We have done over 2 years of research and development to make our batteries world-class and they speak for themselves. We have got positive feedback from our customers and our retention rate is very high. 

How is the Lithium-Ion battery increasing the demand for EVs in the automotive industry?

It’s a simple formula, as the number of EVs will go up, the demand for Lithium-Ion batteries will go up respectively. The core of any electric vehicle is the battery, currently, the world is moving towards lithium-ion batteries. The reason being lithium is the most stable element in the world.

It becomes very efficient and durable to make different chemistries with lithium. Lithium-Ion being the first generation batteries, we are equipped to work on Lithium Ferro Phosphate, Lithium Sulphur Lithium Titanate, etc. 

Currently, Lithium-ion batteries account for more than 70% of the rechargeable battery market. As consumers are moving towards EVs, companies are investing to offer better availability of charging facilities and maintenance.

Also, the government is providing certain incentives to lower the prices on the purchase of electric vehicles. Hence, keeping these factors in mind, it will increase the demand for the Lithium-ion battery and the EVs.

How have you been marketing BatX Energies offerings? 

In the digital era, it becomes easy to reach out to a wider range of audiences. We leverage technology in our marketing efforts and do a very specific reach and targeting. We believe the time of the consumer is very essential, therefore we always stay to the point in our marketing efforts and about our offerings. 

We promote value for the customer and long-term gains. This helps them to connect with our brand more deeply. 

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Why are consumer electronics, automotive, and energy storage industries moving towards recycled batteries?

As per me, it’s the best thing to do. Batteries which come out of cars and telecom towers are as good as new for consumer electronics, low current rating electric vehicles, and energy storage. 

We have developed an inhouse process to enhance the quality of the second-life batteries. We also give a performance warranty on our second life batteries because we are so confident about our technology. 

For customers, it’s very cost-effective as the cost of a second life battery reduces by 35-50% with a similar kind of performance. Therefore, customers prefer recycled batteries.  Also, it fulfills our goals of a circular economy. 

What do you think will strengthen EV businesses and make EV automobiles more mainstream?

One word for this I will say is ‘Standardization’. The government should come up with the norms that manufacturers should use EV grade components also. I have observed that a lot of players have evolved in the EV market, who are not following the standard procedures of development and testing. Any tech not well tested can be dangerous. Therefore, the government should implement manufacturing guidelines. 

By Standardization, I also mean freezing the standards in voltage, size, connectors, battery-pack capacities, C ratings, etc. The components should be made standard, as that will help all the manufacturers and make the system more cost-effective and reliable. 

The Indian EV market remains largely driven by a large population and low-cost-mobility segments, such as two and three-wheelers. 

Recent government policies and those under debate could steeply accelerate electrification in these segments (for instance, differentiated tax policy promoting EVs and localized incentives to promote start-ups).

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Do you think the two-wheeler market will grow post-pandemic?

The Two-wheeler market has grown substantially and is expected to grow post-pandemic. Demand for two-wheelers is preferably more in terms of convenience, affordability, and parking. 

The three-wheeler market is going to boom post-COVID, as the companies have adopted them for last-mile delivery. Even the metro cities have adopted E2W for last-mile connectivity. Companies like Oye Rickshaw are going to be huge successes. 

Any trends we should look out for in the electric vehicles market in India?

We must study the case study of China and other countries that have been ahead of us in adapting EV. We need to focus on setting up reliable and standard charging infra quickly.

We need to be in sync with 6Rs: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, this will enable us to develop a circular economy and long-term sustainable system. 

The demand for EV vehicles is rising and consumer preferences are shifting towards sustainable products. In the coming years, the majority of the consumers will shift towards EVs. But there is no doubt the future belongs to EV.