Electrovaya Lithium-ion batteries: Powering Electro-Mobility Since 1996

Raj Das Gupta | Vice President of Business Development | Electrovaya | Insights Success

Electrovaya was established in 1996 as a research and development company focused on Lithium ion technologies and manufacturing processes. In 2000, it was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: EFL) and has continuously delivered cutting edge technology projects for aerospace (NASA), automotive and personal electronics. Overtime, it has developed key technologies for fundamental cell and battery technology with more than 150 patents in these fields.

Recently, Electrovaya has concentrated on battery solutions for heavy-duty applications requiring superior life cycle and performance. It has successfully developed unique ultra-long life cycle battery systems, which are particularly designed for Materials Handling Electric Vehicles (MHEV).

Currently, it supplies major OEMs with specialized battery module and systems. On the average, MHEVs and passenger EVs run daily for around 10 hours and 2 hours, respectively. Electrovaya’s ultra-long life cycle technology is extremely suitable for these kinds of application.

Compared to vehicles powered with fuel, Electrovaya powered vehicles can function well within 24 hours every day under extreme temperature conditions with annual mileage of 20,000km.

Customers and Emerging Markets

Six Fortune 500 companies in the logistics, e-commerce and manufacturing sectors have started using Electrovaya batteries for their forklift trucks, Material Handling Electric Vehicles (MHEV) and Automated guided vehicles (AGV). This emerging market generated around $3.3 million of revenue from battery-operated deliveries mainly from Walmart from the January to March 2018. Also, additional purchase orders of $2.3 million were placed last June 2018.

The current target markets are 1.5 million operational MHEVs and approximately 160,000 new MHEVs placed in North America last 2017 (Industrial Truck Association, 2017, Washington DC, USA).

Also, on 25th of July 2018, Electrovaya has successfully delivered batteries to Walmart Canada’s distribution center. This is a major milestone for Electrovaya and the Materials Handling Industry, for it is one of the largest lithium-ion installations in North America. Currently, Electrovaya’s Lithium-ion batteries provide power to all MHEVs at this distribution center.

Industry Outlook

Forklift truck sales in North America’s market continued their unprecedented increase. The year 2017 marked the third consecutive year of growth with more than 250,000 units sold, representing a 9.5% and 12.2% increase compared to 2016 and 2015, respectively.

In addition, thousands to millions of electric powered trucks are sold annually in the U.S. and worldwide. The continuous increase in the number of battery-operated trucks from the previous years’ shows the potential use and lead of Electrovaya’s lithium-ion batteries in the trucking industry.

To further introduce the technology and excellence of its products and services to the world, Electrovaya joined the Modex Expo 2018, which happened at Atlanta, GA. In this occasion, the company showcased the lithium ion batteries that are widely used in the materials handling sector.

Given the tremendous success of Electrovaya in the previous years, what really sets it apart from the other battery providers?

To elaborate on what makes it one of the leading brands for powering electro-mobility, enumerated below are the benefits from utilizing Electrovaya’s technology.

  1. Reduced costs and increased productivity of charging

Based on observation, there was an increase in the productivity of the forklift truck drivers due to opportunistic and fast charging. Lead acid battery can function for 8 hours but also needs to be charged for 8 hours. Meanwhile, Electrovaya battery can be charged opportunistically during break times, which increases its run time. The use of advance connector system removed arching or any fire hazards.

  1. Reduced maintenance costs

Electrovaya batteries do not require additional distilled water, switching, cleaning and maintenance. These advantages, made the maintenance costs of Electrovaya batteries 59% cheaper than Lead acid batteries.

For instance, Watering System Maintenance and Acid Containment Spill Kit cost 135 USD annually for each truck with lead acid batteries compared to Electrovaya batteries with maintenance cost of only 45 USD for cable replacements and remote monitoring.

  1. Safety is our priority

Electrovaya batteries are built using the safest technology, which has been continuously improved overtime. Once installed, this battery can be recharged similar a cellular phone. Hence, it removes the danger involved in removing and handling of batteries, which are necessary in lead acid battery charging.

Last year, no accidents were recorded on the usage on forklift trucks with Electrovaya batteries.

  1. Capital expenditure

Lithium battery is always criticized about its high initial cost, wherein Electrovaya battery system is twice the cost of the lead acid batteries. However, Electrovaya batteries last twice longer than lead acid batteries due its 9000 life cycle. This is the result of the collective efforts of the company’s engineers who filed more than 150 patents under the Lithium cell technology. Therefore, after 6 years, the total investments of both types of batteries are the same. Also, if both batteries will be on a lease, the monthly lease expenses will also be similar due to longer lease period on Electrovaya batteries.

Future Perspective

Electrovaya’s vision is to be the leader in critical and highly intensive applications. Its extensive line of products and worldwide partnerships helps it to lead the industry. Aside from the six Fortune 500 companies, MNCs have also purchased from Electrovaya and many are still exploring the benefits of using this technology in keeping their companies transform and grow.

Reliability of Electrovaya

A testimony from the warehouse manager of a leading e-commerce company stated that Electrovaya was very efficient in switching the batteries, particularly in installing the Lithium-ion batteries. Since then, the company has reported reduced energy and maintenance costs, while there was an increase in the labor productivity.

This shows that Electrovaya continues to be one of the leading companies in this industry. Electrovaya has been continuously providing unwavering high quality technologies and services to the people since 1996.

About the Author

Raj Das Gupta has worked with Electrovaya previously as Director of Research and later as Vice President of Business Development of Energy Storage. Raj is responsible for managing and increasing Electrovaya’s sales for both its stationary and automotive energy storage systems, as well as developing Electrovaya’s strategy for technology licensing and business partnerships. Raj attended Imperial College, London; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the University of Cambridge, where he received his Doctorate in Materials Science.

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