Crop Residue To Energy

Nexus Power leverages nanotechnology to make biodegradable electric vehicle batteries from crop residue.

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There are few who have a clear idea on what needs to be done in life while being in school. However, for Nikita and Nishita Baliarsingh, co-founders of Nexus Power, things were a bit different as they developed an early interest to become entrepreneurs during their school days. 

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Nexus Power Founders: Nishita and Nikita

Both the sisters in order to reach a step closer to their dreams, pursued bachelor’s degree in business management with marketing majors, where they gained insights to the world of sustainability, its need and scarce adaptability. It is at this point they realized the utmost need for a sustainable and green  product to save our mother earth. After further studies, both the sisters realized though they have taken a plunge into the entrepreneurial world they still lacked technical knowledge required to run a startup.

“To support our understanding, Nishita studied battery thermal management, hybrid electric vehicle designing and innovation and intellectual property rights and I did courses on selection of nano materials for energy storage and innovation and strategy management from IIT-Roorkee and IIM-Bangalore,” said 23-year-old Nikita. This course provided both the twin sisters exposure to electric vehicle batteries technologies and innovations and eventually led to the foundation of Nexus Power in 2019.

Nexus Power leverages nanotechnology to make biodegradable electric vehicle batteries from crop residue. The company uses unburnt crops—one of the major sources of air pollution—and then by applying a unique extraction and filtration process, manufacture rechargeable energy storing cells. Multiple such cells go into making the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and  AI-based sensor enabled battery pack which is later installed in electric vehicles.

Explaining further, Nikita said, “A cell consists of 3 structural elements, namely: cathode, anode and electrolyte. The process of cell manufacturing at Nexus plays with the chemistry of the cell and builds all these elements with nanodot proteins derived from crop residue. Our batteries are Lithium-ion free and hence eco-friendly and sustainable.”

She claims as the crop residue is present across the world, Nexus Power’s unique batteries can be produced anywhere at a very cheap rate. In this way, Nexus Power is not only providing a sustainable future, but also helping farmers to earn additional income by selling crop waste.  

“Along with this, through our patented technological innovations, we will be able to eradicate 7 billion tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the next century!” Nikita claims. 

At present, the company is focusing on building batteries for two-wheeler and three-wheeler electric vehicles as there is an existing $50 billion market for the same. However, in future, the company aims to foray into consumer electronics, solar energy storage, among others. The company which is primarily bootstrapped and have received fellowship grants from the Indian government are currently in talks to raise further funds to tailwind its growth. 

Though the company is planning its battery packs to go commercial by late 2022, Nexus Power has rounds of discussion with 3-4 electric vehicle manufacturers for carrying out market trials of its battery packs. “We are hopeful of tying up with multiple 2-wheeler EV manufacturers across the Asian region for the pilot program, scheduled for Q3/Q4 of 2021,” she added. 

In a longer run, Nikita said the company will eye for developing electric batteries for  four-wheeler and commercial vehicles. The company might even manufacture a four-wheeler electric vehicle targeting the mid segment income group in the country. 

When asked if she will collaborate with popular electric vehicle manufacturers Tesla, Nikita said, “Give a chance, we would love to collaborate with Tesla. That'll also give us a better understanding of the technology moulding of Tesla. In fact, not just Tesla, we would also like to collaborate with Indian Vehicle makers like TATA, Mahindra, Hero etc.”