Jitendra EV Plans Sodium-Ion E-2Ws In Two Years

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Sodium-ion batteries primarily use table salt and forest industry biomass, making them more readily available domestically.

Jitendra New EV Tech, an electric two-wheeler manufacturer based in Nashik and focused on Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, is planning to launch vehicles powered by indigenously developed sodium-ion batteries by the end of Calendar Year 2025 or early Calendar Year 2026, as stated by co-founder Samkit Shah. Shah mentioned that the company is in discussions with 2-3 major Indian companies exploring sodium battery technology. He emphasized that these sodium batteries, to be manufactured in India, will complement the sodium cells currently sourced from China.

Shah’s comments come in the context of India’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs). Sodium-ion batteries are emerging as a viable alternative to the commonly used lithium-ion batteries in EVs, offering easier sourcing within the country. The main raw materials for sodium-ion batteries are table salt and biomass from the forest industry, enhancing their domestic accessibility. While global leaders in sodium battery development are primarily in China, India is also making significant advancements. In December, Pune-based KPIT Technologies, which collaborates with automakers on software integration, showcased its sodium-ion battery technology at an industry event in Bengaluru.

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Regarding uncertainties surrounding subsidies for electric two-wheelers, Shah expressed confidence that the Indian electric two-wheeler industry is set to grow. However, he noted that achieving the government’s ambitious target of 35-40% penetration by 2030 might necessitate an extension of current subsidies. He suggested that without continued subsidies, the target might be delayed by at least a year.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Heavy Industries introduced the Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024 to continue providing subsidies for electric two and three-wheelers. The scheme, with a total allocation of Rs 500 crore, will be effective from April 1 to July 31. It aims to ensure incentives for electric two and three-wheelers following the expiration of the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicle (FAME) scheme on March 31.

The FAME II scheme, launched in 2019 with a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for three years ending in 2022, was extended to March 2024. Last month, the budget for FAME II was increased by an additional Rs 1,500 crore. The government stated that subsidies under the scheme would apply to vehicles sold until March 31 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. So far, the scheme has provided subsidies to approximately 1.47 million electric vehicles, including 1.30 million two-wheelers, 150,613 three-wheelers, and 18,794 four-wheelers.

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