A Hyderabad-based startup; Allox is a natural resource company primarily dealing in lithium and other rare earth minerals. Allox aims to become a leading material producer for next-generation Lithium-Ion Battery cells while creating the supply chain that enables the future energy requirements of the world, the global storage of renewable energy, and electrification of transportation. The company’s agenda is to make India self-reliant in the fast growing Lithium-Ion Battery & EV sectors. During an interaction with Nitisha; Anjani Sri Mourya Sunkavalli, Co-Founder and MD, Allox Advance Materials Pvt Ltd. talks about the need for lithium batteries in India and his agenda to make India a self-reliant country.
Kindly explain Allox and its special offering.
Allox is a natural resource company, primarily dealing in Lithium, rare earth minerals and other battery-related materials. Allox is India’s leading producer of indigenously developed C-LFP, Carbon coated Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LiFePO4) also referred to as cathode active material. Cathode active material is a key component in manufacturing cells.
Agenda behind the establishment of Allox? Share your journey.
India currently has no cathode manufacturers. The main reason being, there are no substantial resources of Lithium in India. Battery manufacturers are currently relying primarily on China to import cells, which are then converted to batteries locally. Lithium, as you know is the indispensable element of any Li-ion cell/battery. To tackle this issue Allox has been working with mining partners in Bolivia and Brazil to establish a consistent supply of Lithium to India, which will be used to manufacture C-LFP and then supplied to upcoming major cell manufacturers coming up in India, under the ACC (advance cell chemistry) PLI scheme of 18,000 crores set forth by the Govt of India.
What challenges India is facing in the adoption of Electric vehicles? What are your expectations from the Indian government?
We believe the issue of the major adoption being faced by customers looking to buy Electric Vehicles is primarily charging infrastructure and long charging times. We are seeing a tremendous amount of investments and new technologies emerging in this space, primarily led by Indian startups. In the coming years, we believe all these innovations are going to drive the ease of adoption of EVs. The consumer is going to have a plethora of options to choose from and can cherry-pick the best product based on their requirements.
Indian Government, and more so the Telangana Government are assisting companies and startups alike in their journey to localize production of necessary raw materials, parts and infrastructure to revolutionize the EV space in India.
Telangana Government in this regard is forming a Joint Venture with Allox, to supply Lithium and other battery related raw materials to enable a cleaner and greener future.
What are your points on the battery swapping policy?
Battery swapping policy is a key step to in encouraging the customer to adopt EVs. We will mainly see electric 2 wheeler customers take advantage of this policy as it is a ready-made solution for reducing charging time and many Indian companies have come forward with creative ideas to improve this easy-to-use solution.
How does Allox differentiate itself with other EV battery companies?
Allox is a cathode active material manufacturer. There are 4 major components of a cell. Cathode, Anode, Electrolyte and Separator. At present, there are a lot of Indian companies that produce Anode, Electrolyte and Separator. Allox is the only company that produces Cathode material, using patented indigenously developed technology. Allox has acquired LFP manufacturing technology from ARCI (International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials), a premier research institute under Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India. Being the only cathode material manufacturer, Allox is acting as the key supplier of LFP to cell manufacturers in India. With established lithium supplies from our partner mines, Allox is able to manufacture high quality and high performing LFP consistently, which is out performing Chinese-made LFP and LFP available in the open market at a cell and device level. To summarize, consistent, proven and high-quality Lithium supply along side being the only Indian LFP manufacturer is what makes Allox unique.
Is there any new project you are planning to introduce in the Indian market?
Alongside LFP, we are also currently working on commercializing LTO (Lithium Titanate Oxide) which is a next generation Anode material that enables faster charging and long battery life. The upside of an LFP-LTO battery is tremendous. When the market is ready for LTO, we are in a position to go into full-scale production to meet the demand of the Indian market.
How was the year 2020-2021 in terms of business?
2020-2021 was the year of successfully commercializing our technology. Last year, similar to this year, there is not much demand for LFP in India, because there are no cell manufacturers in India. We are currently manufacturing 15 tons of LFP per annum, which is primarily being used for internal testing, validation and sampling.
Over the next few years we estimate the market requirement of LFP is going to surpass 1,50,000 tons per annum. Primarily from 10 major companies that are setting up over 100 GWh of cell manufacturing facilities, coming up over the next year. Allox is currently working to increase production capacity to over 3,000 tons of LFP per annum by this year-end and scale up to over 30,000 tons per annum by 2024 to meet the market demand.
What are your future marketing strategies for the growth of the business?
Allox is currently gearing up for production scale-up and is also in talks with major EPC companies to set up a large scale LFP manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, Telangana. We are already in advanced talks with most cell manufacturing companies to supply our LFP and wish to do our bit in localizing cell and battery manufacturing, in lines with the Make in India initiative of Govt of India.