Jun 9, 2020

MG Motor partners with Tata Power on India’s EV future

William Girling
3 min
Legacy brand MG Motor India has released details of its collaboration with Tata Power to deliver the future of EV (electric vehicle) infrastructure...

Legacy brand MG Motor India has released details of its collaboration with Tata Power to deliver the future of EV (electric vehicle) infrastructure.

A signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two companies will see Tata deploy 50KW DC chargers - providing 100 miles of power from a charge of roughly 30 minutes - at select MG dealerships, as well as end-to-end charging points throughout India.

Viewed as part of MG’s long-term focus on EV product development, the CCS / CHAdeMO chargers will be compatible with the company’s own MG ZS EV model and all other cars with a similar standard.

Creating synergy

India has an estimated 150mn drivers on the road today, making it potentially one of the largest EV markets in the world. However, recent surveys have shown that a very small portion of these (one article states as little as 8,000) actually desire an EV.

Issues commonly associated with converting are similar to other countries: affordability, practicality and lack of EV charging infrastructure are persistent image problems which the industry must overcome.

Rajeev Chaba, President and MD of MG Motor India, stated that making the case for eco-friendly transportation had become its goal; one which it would promote change through collaboration and a shared vision:

“Further strengthening our commitment to India, we aim to provide our customers with a robust charging ecosystem to promote the adoption of cleaner and greener mobility solutions.

“With a partner like Tata Power, a renowned major in the field of power, we are confident that we will create a distinct synergy together,” he said.

Affirming this positive relationship, Praveer Sinha, CEO and MD of Tata Power, added that the joint effort would bring about an optimal result for consumers in India:

“We are delighted to associate with MG Motor India as an end-to-end EV charging partner and also to work on a second-life of battery usage in future. As India’s leading integrated player in the EV charging space, we aim to provide customers with a seamless charging experience.

“We are confident that this partnership with MG Motor will further boost our country’s ability to adopt the electrified range of vehicles that MG Motor has to offer.”

Exploring the possibilities

With the Indian automotive industry projected to be worth between USD$251bn to $283bn by 2026, this new partnership is certainly developing fertile ground for investment.

MG India has already installed 10 50KW DC chargers at its dealerships in New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, with more cities on the horizon.

Tata Power has been even more prolific: 180+ ‘EZ Charge’ brand charging points in 19 cities, with a seamless digital interface to make the customer experience simple, intuitive and smooth.

Between the two companies, they are gradually helping India to move away from the internal combustion engine and towards a fully EV market. Laying the infrastructure to make it possible will be key and this exactly what MG-Tata intends to do.

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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