Alagappa University, private firm design sodium-ion powered e-bicycle, a viable alternative to lithium-ion battery

November 08, 2023 08:22 pm | Updated 11:10 pm IST - Sivaganga

The sodium-ion powered e-bicycle designed by Alagappa Univeristy in Karaikudi.

The sodium-ion powered e-bicycle designed by Alagappa Univeristy in Karaikudi. | Photo Credit: L. BALACHANDAR

One of its kind electric bicycles designed by Alagappa University, which is powered by sodium-ion batteries, could be seen as a viable alternative to the conventional lithium-ion battery for its non-dependence on critical mineral’s abundance and cost-efficiency. 

At a time when electric vehicles are widely suggested as the best alternative to the vehicles that burn petrol and diesel to overcome climate crisis, the sodium-ion battery powered bicycles would further the process in moving towards more sustainable options, claims the team.  

The bicycle, which was designed at H2Next, a collaborative cell of the Alagappa University and industry, in its first stage as a pilot study will be introducing the cycle in the market at a minimum number in the coming days.  

V Swaminathan, CEO, H2Next, said, “Though the electric vehicles (e-vehicles) in the market are posed as an effective alternative to the petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles, the question of how the battery in the e-vehicles gets charged raises.” 

“When electricity is the key source to charge the e-vehicle, the source of the electricity would be mostly coal. Again, the question of the pollution while burning the coal raises,” he pointed out.  

Moving further into zero-polluting sources, we chose our battery to be sodium-ion, which is abundant in nature, cost efficient, and non-dependent on critical minerals, he added.  

“Though the lithium ions are the highest performing battery technology available in the market, their availability is limited to places like China, Argentina which makes them difficult to access and the price of lithium could also be unaffordable to the manufacturers,” said Mr. Swaminathan.  

H2Next has designed the model in such a way that it does not need electricity to charge the battery. “Instead, we have used a catalytic material made of metallic waste materials which would indigenously through chemical reaction produce electricity to charge the battery,” he explained.  

This makes it non-dependent on external electricity, making it unique from the rest of the market available e-vehicles, he said. They have estimated that it would roughly cost around 46 paisa per kilo meter.  

“The charging material should be replaced every time it gets exhausted, which is comparatively cheaper to the cost spend on the electricity for charging,” he added.  

Above all, the charging material made of metallic waste could be reused several times with the same efficiency without letting it get wasted, he explained.  

“Works for procuring patent rights are under way, so the price we have fixed now for the e-bicycle is around ₹ 34,000,” S. Subramanian, Chief Technology Officer, said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.