“India’s Elon Musk” Chetan Maini, turns his attention to smart batteries
India’s electric car pioneer has co-founded a new company to build smart batteries for electric cars, buses and scooters.
“These smart batteries are modular, replaceable and IOT-sensor enabled and can be refuelled,” said co-founder and vice chairman of SUN Mobility Chetan Maini.
Maini founded the Mahindra REVA, which makes the REVAi, the electric urban micro-car (a design which made it onto the roads seven years before Tesla’s). His latest company is SUN Mobility, a joint venture between Virya Mobility and renewables developer SUN New Energy Systems.
SUN Mobility will also focus on developing charging infrastructure, including fast-charging energy stations powered by renewable energy. So far however, details of battery chemistry or energy density have not been expanded upon.
Maini has said the company will also investigate battery-swapping infrastructure and base its designs on an open architecture, allowing OEMs to contribute to the modular battery platform.
It will conduct a number of pilot projects in major cities such as Bengaluru for 12-18 months, with an official launch of the venture taking place sometime in 2019, according to The Hindu newspaper.
Even with a two-year development ahead, Maini’s ambitions are not small. “Our smart batteries have long life and will cost significantly less. The consumers can interchange them at a docking station faster than getting fuel at a petrol station,” he said, quoted in the Economic Times.