Jitendra EV expects to roll out sodium-ion-fuelled e-2ws in two years | Autocar Professional

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Jitendra New EV Tech, a Nashik-based electric two-wheeler maker focused on Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, is targeting a CY25 or early CY26 launch for indigenously sodium-battery powered vehicles, according to the co-founder Samkit Shah.

“In India, 2-3 big companies are looking to work on sodium batteries. We are in touch with them,” Shah told Autocar Professional on the sidelines of an industry event. “By CY2025-end or CY2026 early months, we may come out with sodium batteries which will be made in India,” he added, emphasising that it will be in addition to the China-sourced sodium cells.

Shah’s remarks should be seen context of India’s transition to electric vehicles. While lithium and cobalt are commonly used in the batteries of EVs, newer solutions in the form of sodium-ion batteries are gaining attention in India. Sodium-ion batteries offer an alternative to lithium-ion batteries, as they can be sourced more easily within the country. Table salt and biomass from the forest industry are the main raw materials for sodium-ion batteries, making them more accessible domestically. Several global companies, particularly those in China, are leading the way in sodium battery development. However, India is making strides too. In December, KPIT Technologies, a Pune-based engineering firm that partners with automakers on software integration, unveiled its sodium-ion battery technology at an industry event in Bengaluru.

Further, discussing the uncertainties around subsidies for electric two-wheelers, Shah remained assured that while India’s electric two-wheeler industry is poised to take off, reaching the government’s ambitious target of 35-40% penetration by 2030 might require extending current subsidies. He added, “If the subsidies stop, then we may set the target getting pushed by at least a year.”

The Ministry of Heavy Industries earlier this month unveiled a new scheme named Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024 to continue subsidies for electric two and three-wheelers. The scheme comes with a total outlay of Rs 500 crore and is valid for four months from April 1 to July 31. The new scheme ensures incentives for electric two and three-wheelers sold post the expiry of the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicle (FAME) scheme on March 31.

FAME II was rolled out in 2019 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for three years ending in 2022 but was extended to March 2024. FAME II’s budget was also enhanced last month by an additional Rs 1,500 crore and the government had said the subsidies under the scheme will be applicable for vehicles sold till March 31, or till the time funds are available, whichever is earlier. The scheme so far provided subsidies to around 1.47 million electric vehicles, including 1.30 million two-wheelers, 150,613 three-wheelers and 18,794 four-wheelers.

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