International Safety Summits
October 15, 2019

2019 India Energy Storage Summit in Chennai, India

Participants at the 2019 India Energy Storage Summit

Exploring the creation of a safe, secure, and sustainable energy storage ecosystem for India 

The India Energy Storage Summit (IESS) 2019, a two-day interactive meeting, was organized by the Electrochemical Safety Research Institute (ESRI) in partnership with Centre for Battery Engineering and Electric Vehicles (C-BEEV) and IIT Madras, as well as with the support of GE Global Research and the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI,). The summit was held from Sept. 23-24, 2019, at the IIT Madras Research Park in Chennai, India. 

India's sustainable energy storage ecosystem is growing at a fast pace, but for renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, to contribute to a significantly higher proportion of the country’s energy demands, energy storage needs to become more affordable and more robust. Similarly, energy storage in the form of batteries is a critical component of the fast-growing e-mobility ecosystem. With these concepts in mind, IESS 2019 served as a platform to discuss avenues for energy storage to catalyze the growth of electric mobility and renewable energy through an emphasis on battery performance, safety, and innovation.

Participating in the event were experts from many relevant fields: electric vehicle (EV) original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), battery manufacturers, EV charging, and battery swapping solution providers, academic researchers, the renewable energy sector, and organizations involved in developing safety and quality standards.

More than 20 industry experts shared their knowledge during the conference and focused breakout sessions, including those from ESRI, IIT-Madras, India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), Ashok Leyland, SUN Mobility, Mahindra Electric, Attero Recycling, GE, ARAI, and more. The event saw participation by more than 100 delegates from many leading Indian firms and organizations. 

Speaking at the event, Terrence Brady, president and CEO of UL Research Institutes, said, “With energy storage devices, such as batteries, becoming a key part of our everyday lives — whether they are on land, water or in the air — battery safety and performance has become a critical concern the world over. Summits such as IESS that blend cross-functional expertise will prove critical in solving key challenges energy storage applications face today.”

“The main objective of this event was to initiate a collaboration among the key stakeholders in energy storage. With the useful deliberations and interactions that took place over two days, the next logical step is to convene focused groups of experts to start moving the needle on the key takeaways from this event.” -Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, vice president and executive director of ESRI

Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Institute Professor IIT-Madras noted, “Storage plays a key role not only in growth of electric vehicles but also for the growth of renewable energy. Industry, academia and the government need to work together on storage technology, standards, and policy to find affordable solutions for India. The event was an important step in this direction.”

Key takeaways included: 

  • Lithium-ion batteries designed and customized for Indian conditions and constraints could help accelerate EV adoption in India.
  • Battery swapping, if done effectively, can significantly mitigate the major concerns of EV users such as range anxiety, charging time, and battery costs.
  • Lithium-ion battery recycling technology is available and working right now in India, and if used effectively, can significantly increase the raw material security for lithium-ion batteries made in India in the future.
  • Lithium-ion batteries present diverse hazards under different environments, so testing mechanisms need to evolve as we learn more about these risks.
  • With the cost of lithium-ion batteries decreasing rapidly, battery systems for captive energy use are viable today and can address a large portion of the end user’s energy needs.
  • Government, industry, and academia need to work together on different aspects of energy storage for the development of technology, standards, and policy.
  • Battery safety research in collaboration with vital stakeholders will provide a path forward in generating awareness, skill development, and outreach initiatives.

Based on the key takeaways, ESRI will evolve a platform to enhance energy storage solutions that facilitates robust growth of India’s sustainable energy and e-mobility ecosystems.


The Centre for Battery Engineering and Electric Vehicles, sponsored by the Department of Heavy Industry and supported by several companies from the automotive and battery industries, is powering electric mobility and energy storage in India through technology, innovation, collaboration and start-ups. Our primary focus is to make electric vehicles affordable in India and support building an ecosystem for EV adoption. The Centre, along with its incubated start-ups, develops cutting-edge technologies for design and commercialization of EV subsystems including lithium-ion battery packs for fixed and swappable applications across two-, three-, and four-wheelers; associated charging and management systems; micro-mobility; high efficiency electric motors; controllers and vehicle design. Electric three-wheelers and two-wheelers from various manufacturers have been undergoing trials for about two years within the IIT Madras Campus and over 250 million data points have been captured — improving efficiency, optimization and enabling predictive analytics. The Centre is at the forefront of the national efforts to establish lithium-ion cell manufacturing, recycling end-of-life lithium-ion battery packs and effluent-free recovery of raw materials. It also plays a key role in developing standards and policies for faster adoption and manufacture of electric vehicles in India. Additional focus areas for the Centre include grid storage and off-grid solar DC applications. Technology developed by the Centre along with start-ups has been licensed to partners, such as leading automotive manufacturers, for commercialization. The Centre and its incubated start-ups operate out of the IIT Madras Campus and the IIT Madras Research Park.