Years of R&D on Li-ion cells enables us to deliver the highest quality batteries – Gagan Kaur

Located in an 18,600 sq ft campus in Mohali (Punjab), Future Hi-Tech continues the legacy of India’s very first Li-ion battery manufacturing plant, which was set up in 1998. The plant was established with the aim to manufacture Lithium polymer cells in India. The necessary technology, as well as the machinery, was imported from the USA, and raw material was sourced from outside India. The pilot project started production of Li-ion cells which was later halted due to multiple reasons, primarily for the lack of market readiness. 

Cut to 2021, Future Hi-Tech is being run by women entrepreneurs who aspire to make Mohali the hub for domestic sourcing and export of Li-ion battery packs. The company is achieving 300% Y-o-Y growth for the last 3 years, supplying Li-ion battery packs for a variety of applications.

We had a conversation with Executive Director – Gagan Kaur to find out more about their journey, work and aspirations.

How did the current entity of Future Hi-Tech come into being?

The promoter of Future Hi-Tech Mr J P Singh wanted to restart the Mohali plant to achieve the aim of producing Li-ion cells on the Indian soil. In 2012, he invested in the company and we restarted the R&D for Li-ion cell manufacturing. For the next 5 years, we used the existing infrastructure to develop technology in partnership with various academic institutes with a goal to produce cells at pilot level.

During this time, our team visited more than 200 Li-ion cell manufacturing units across the globe to get updated on the raw materials, latest technology and cell making process, and to identify the right source for high quality raw materials. 

In 2015-16, Li-ion battery demand saw a sudden boom with the wave of government requirements for solar installations. At this point, Chinese cells and batteries started flooding the Indian market, negating the commercial feasibility of made in India cells.

Because of the market scenario that ensued, we slowed the cell level R&D and entered commercial space for battery pack manufacturing for the solar industry in FY2015, under the mentorship of a seasoned CEO Mr G S Marjara.

What is the current scale of Li-ion battery manufacturing at Future Hi-Tech?

We supply on an average 50,000 Lithium-ion battery packs every year.

Our current installed annual capacity is 120 MW – further expandable two fold. We utilised 70 MW last year to serve our clients in various sectors, primarily solar and e-mobility. We are equipped to manufacture customised LFP, NMC, LTO and LMO battery packs tailored for the end applications. We also have in-house labs for performance and abouse testing of batteries.

We manufacture more than 800 types of Battery Packs, including over 30 types of BMS with SMBUS etc, these are widely applied to almost all kinds of battery packs.

What edge does your R&D experience give you over other battery makers in India? 

Quality of cells supplied to European, American and Indian markets is different. The primary reason for this is the cut throat competition here, every one wishes to import everything and sell at a cheap price.

“Over 5 years of cell R&D at Future Hi-Tech (starting 2012), we ran extensive tests on safety, performance characteristics and impact testing at the cell level. Exhaustive life cycle testing of 2,000 cycles was carried out in the field for scores of cells over these years. As a result, we could identify the top suppliers of quality cells from across the globe, and which cells from these suppliers should be imported.”

Also, we work on the principle of designing a battery pack in accordance with the requirements of the end application of the device. Chemistry, cell selection and battery specifications need to be derived from the application requirements as well as the ambient temperature and overall behavioural conditions the device will be used in. e.g. the design for an electric vehicle battery pack depends on multiple factors including the requirements of the motor and controller as well as the external temperature, driving conditions etc.

Our deep understanding of cells, better sourcing and stringent quality control help us deliver an avant grade level of battery packs for all the applications which are at par with the international quality. 

Who are your clients at present?

Our portfolio has Li-ion battery solutions for a diverse range of applications such as stationary ESS, telecom towers, medical devices, consumer gadgets and all vehicle segments for e-mobility. At present we counts the likes of Honda, Bajaj, Crompton, Surya Roshni among our clients.

In India, we are a highly certified company in our segment with BIS, IEC, IS, UN certifications for the entire product range in compliance with International Lithium Industry Standards. 

We wish the team at Future Hi-Tech the best for their Make In India endeavours and look forward to following their journey.

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2 thoughts on “Years of R&D on Li-ion cells enables us to deliver the highest quality batteries – Gagan Kaur

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