Solving the Li-ion Battery Waste Menace
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As India gears up for its ambitious plan of becoming an all-electric vehicle (EV) nation, Rohan Singh Bais is simultaneously devising solutions to deal with the humongous battery waste problem that lies at the heart of the EV movement.
“Lithium ion batteries are the future of energy storage and will power tomorrow's transportation, but, at the same time will also lead to a massive battery waste generation,” says Bais, Director of Product and Strategy, Ziptrax Technologies.
In December 2016, the BITS-Pilani alumnus along with Sonia Singh—business partners from a previous ventureBloodportHealthtech—co-founded Ziptrax Technologies with the aim to repurpose discarded Li-ion batteries to eliminate battery waste and reduce environmental damage.
The company is achieving this through two application prototypes for the batteries.
One, following the closed-loop recycling process, Ziptrax dismantles Li-ion cells and extracts metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, and manganese to use for manufacturing batteries for consumer electronics and powering EV storages, renewable energy grids.
Two, it repurposes discarded Li-ion batteries for the second use in EVs and Energy Storage Systems (ESSs). Ziptrax claims to extend the life of Li-ion batteries by up to 40 per cent longer by combining it with its patent artificial intelligence engine and IoT enabled hardware. Further, the company’s tech also reduces the battery costs significantly, benefitting not just manufacturers and distributors but also end-users.
The Delhi-headquartered company spent the first three years in research and development (R&D), building prototypes, and standardizing product designs and specifications.
In early 2020, Ziptrax ran pilots with last-mile electric mobility startupZypp and Mobilytics, which provides charging infrastructure to e-rickshaw drivers on a subscription basis, for 2W and 3W repurposed battery deployment. Post lockdown, the company has been working with Hero Electric, SungeelHiTech, Jindal Stainless, and Nippon Recycling Japan.
“This year we plan to operationalize our 500 MT annual Li-ion battery recycling facility in Delhi-NCR,” says the 30-year-old Bais, commenting on the company’s plans for future expansion. Ziptrax has an R&D unit in Delhi and a processing unit in Ghaziabad.
Delhi-headquartered Ziptrax clocked INR 35 lakh revenue in FY2019-20.
Bais is bullish on the lithium-ion battery industry in the coming years and says “It’s an inflection point for EV, ESS and LiB industry and I see great growth potential in this decade for Ziptrax.”
Ziptrax was shortlisted in Shell’s second cohort of E4 (Energizing and Enabling Energy Entrepreneurs) Programme for 2019 and bagged $120,000. It is in the process of fundraising for a seed round of USD 500,000 in equity capital from Venture Capital, a clutch of angel investors and strategic investment bodies, Bais told Entrepreneur India.
Rohan Singh made it to the list of Entrepreneur India’s 35Under35 list of 2021.