IIT-Madras team develops zinc-air batteries for electric vehicles


A team of researchers from IIT-Madras is developing electric vehicles with zinc-air batteries which are said to have a longer lifespan than lithium-ion batteries and are more economical.

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Zinc-air batteries are more economical and have a longer life than Li-ion batteries

New technics

A research team from IIT-Madras, led by Dr. Aravind Kumar Chandiran, has filed a patent for zinc-air batteries for electric vehicles, which can be charged mechanically and are said to have a longer lifespan than lithium more largely used. -ionic batteries and will also be more economical. The research team says zinc-air batteries can be used for both two- and three-wheelers. The IIT Madras team says lithium-ion batteries will not be enough to meet the demand for electric vehicles in the future. And the availability of lithium as an element will also be a problem in the future, while zinc as an element is more abundant in nature.


(Zinc batteries can be used for electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers)

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Dr Chandira is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and says zinc-air batteries will have a ‘zinc cassette’ that can be replaced in a depleted battery, like how battery swap technology works, just that the Whole battery does not need to be exchanged. He also pointed out that one of the objectives of the research was to identify gaps in current technology and solutions to address them. Currently, the team is working on the manufacturing of Zinc-air cells and will then work on the development of Zinc-air batteries.


(Zinc batteries are more energy dense than lithium-ion batteries)

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The problem with current lithium-ion battery stations is that the entire battery has to be replaced, which means a significant investment in infrastructure. With zinc-air batteries, only the zinc “cassette” needs to be replaced, which will be easier and require less infrastructure. The IIT-Madras team is also planning zinc refill stations, similar to petrol pumps, where cassettes can be swapped.


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The advantages of zinc batteries are that they are more energy dense, lighter and inexpensive than the current crop of lithium-ion batteries, while being less volatile than lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, India ranks among the top 5 producing countries of zinc and manganese, two elements necessary for the manufacture of zinc batteries.

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