MOIL mulls developing high-grade manganese for electric vehicles

By PTI

State owned MOIL is looking to develop high-grade manganese for batteries which could be used in electric vehicles (EVs), Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said today.

The research by MOIL, the country's top manganese ore producer, comes at a time when the government is aggressively pushing for electric vehicles to curb air pollution. Singh was speaking at an international conference on minerals and metal sector organised by ITEI.

"Our focus should be on indigenisation and developing technologies and solutions specific to needs of India," he said.

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The power ministry had earlier said the government was considering providing subsidy for setting up e-vehicle charging infrastructure, under a policy.

However, Power Secretary A K Bhalla was of the view that it is a chicken and egg situation because charging stations would not be set up without enough e-vehicles and e-vehicle sales would not pick up unless there is enough facility to charge these vehicles.

With an aim to promote EVs, the government had launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme in 2015.

As per the scheme, incentives would be offered on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars.

Last week, Essel Infraprojects said it was planning to invest Rs 1,750 crore in phased manner to set up electric vehicle charging and battery swapping infrastructure.

Singh also pointed out that in the metal sector, India was strengthening its position with every passing year. About the steel sector, he said, it is a brilliant example of transformation and turnaround with the joint efforts of the government and the industry.

"Indian steel industry has come a long way since its downturn we are at the verge of becoming second largest (steel producer) in 2018," he added.