The EV sector has been on a rising graph since the last decade. The increasing demand for electric vehicles is directly proportional to the demand for lithium-ion batteries, making them an automotive market favorite. Additionally, consumer electronics products, such as laptops and mobile phones, which employ lithium-ion cells, have caused a significant increase in the demand for lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are also now recognized as the industry standard for any product requiring a portable rechargeable battery due to their capacity to be recharged.
Semco Infratech is a name associated with credibility, sustainability, and market intelligence. Semco provides Precision Test and Measurement Equipment for Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturing, EVSE infrastructure, and Energy storage systems. To know more about the company and its range of solutions, ELE Times’ technology Journalist- Tanya Tyagi got the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with Neeraj Kumar Singal, Founder, and CEO of Semco Group. He is passionate about Clean Energy and working on various projects to build a robust Lithium-ion ecosystem.
ELE Times: What are your views on the evolution of the EV industry in the last decade and what are your predictions?
The EV industry has witnessed significant growth in the last decade. Technology has improved constantly keeping in mind environmental impact and awareness among the public. Due to its cost-effective approach, people are inclined towards e-vehicles. The last decade has marked a new milestone in e-mobility and sustainable transportation. Concerns about global warming and people’s health have increasingly motivated the industry for battery-powered cars, trucks, and buses to generate zero tailpipe emissions. The EV industry is unpredictable as new and innovative technology is being launched and the global market is also seeing a breakthrough in terms of the value chain, investment, and standardized process.
ELE Times: What could be some factors that could snarl up the growth in this sector?
A lot of factors show that the EV industry will be the future. As it is a solution to fuel concerns and other aspects like eco-friendly transportation. It has become a global agenda as governments are providing a lot of opportunities for manufacturing, supply, and meeting the new generation’s demands. In the Indian context, the government has started an end number of initiatives like Fame I and II, the PLI Scheme, and many more. One aspect that makes EVs the change of this decade, is that they can be recycled and reused giving them an added advantage over fuel cells.
ELE Times: Highlight the roles of the batteries and fuel cells in shaping the electric future.
The contribution of batteries to renewable energy is particularly important because solar and wind power are still variable sources that produce changing amounts of energy. The percentage of battery-powered vehicles is anticipated to increase significantly. Electric vehicles and the batteries that power them not only eliminate fossil fuels from our road vehicles but also increase the amount of intermittent renewable energy in grid systems. Electric vehicles will not only be utilized for transportation but will also lower electricity costs for people who have purchased house rooftop solar panels, whether they be public, corporate, or individual investors. As one rechargeable battery can replace thousands of single-use batteries, rechargeables are quite effective at lowering carbon footprint.
ELE Times: Sales being an important part of the company’s growth, can you tell us about how the sales trajectory of this year is coming along?
In an attempt to explore the battery market and to stand out as a leading player with the maximum market share, Semco will exponentially expand with a 50% expected annual growth rate.
ELE Times: Can you provide us with some insights into your product profile and your customer base?
We offer an array of equipment that we make for enterprises that are working in the niche of the battery assembly line. Also, we are the sole supplier of custom-manufactured lithium-ion battery packs and manufacturing equipment and provide testing solutions to these companies. We impart blended services that include trial and testing before selling the machine. Our machines serve a wide range of industries, that include Automotive, Solar, Energy Storage, Second use of batteries, and recycling.
ELE Times: What do you have to say about the alternatives like sodium ions, and lithium-sulfur batteries, getting attention in the EV market? Have you thought about expanding your portfolio beyond lithium-ion?
Sodium-ion batteries are an emerging technology with promising cost, safety, sustainability, and performance advantages over commercialized lithium-ion batteries. Key advantages include the use of widely available and inexpensive raw materials and a rapidly scalable technology based on existing lithium-ion production methods. On the other hand, Lithium-sulphur technology has the potential to offer cheaper, lighter batteries that also offer safety advantages. We are entering into various products ranging from lithium-powered power tools under the brand Omada and soon will be launching a portable energy storage system.
ELE Times: What goes into making a perfect BMS?
Each battery cell and chemistry have a voltage, temperature, and current range within which it can safely operate. When a cell drops below or exceeds these ranges, it can be detected and controlled by the BMS. For instance, lithium is a highly reactive substance; thus, the BMS should monitor each lithium cell to ensure that it remains operating within predefined limits. This keeps the battery safe and preserves it in the long run. Another important safety feature of a BMS is cell balancing. Individual cells within a battery pack do not operate equally. One cell may be weaker or stronger than the other, charging or discharging faster than others within the chain. Without proper compensation, this could degrade the health of the overall pack. If one cell short circuits or fails, this affects the stability of the whole pack. Cell balancing equalizes the charge between individual cells based on each cell’s capability. The BMS helps to monitor and control the charge demanded from each cell in the chain, ensuring that SoC remains evenly distributed.
ELE Times: Can you provide us with some insights into your distributor’s network?
We have our product centers and warehouses in Delhi and Bangalore. We have also launched our online portal for the sale of portable and small workshop equipment in the name of www.semco.in and on other e-commerce channels such as Amazon, Flipkart, Moglix, and through Industry buying.