The LEADER brand of batteries, manufactured by Pilot Industries Limited, has been gaining traction across battery storage and solar applications through its range of products. The company’s products include inverter batteries, e-rickshaw batteries, traction batteries and battery plates. The LEADER solar range also includes 2 Volt low-maintenance lead acid cell batteries, solar batteries, LEADER solar power conditioning units, solar PV panels and solar charge controllers. The company clocked a revenue of about Rs 7 billion this year despite the pandemic. In the past fiscal year, the balance sheet remained healthy with a positive profit overall.
Pilot Industries started as a trader in battery components and raw material. It has 51 years of experience in renewable power products and lead business. The company has been involved in the production of refined lead, as well as lead alloy ingots, which are produced by recycling lead battery scrap (ISRI-RAINS) and lead acid batteries in India. In addition to the refined lead capacity, the company manufactures about 60,000 batteries per month and plans to push this to 100,000 within this fiscal year. The company’s products meet the international standards and also have standardised certifications for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Pilot Industries participates in the battery market with its LEADER batteries product line. Pilot’s LEADER batteries have been approved by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the Central Institute of Road Transport.
EV and solar power segments
As a manufacturer, the company provides technological solutions for electric vehicles (EVs) such as e-rickshaws, which will help move forward in the space of mass transportation. These batteries use high quality pure lead and special alloys for better life and performance. The battery also includes a polyethylene separator, specially designed to prevent loss during vibration, a special venting system to prevent spillage, and a high strength polypropylene container used in e-rickshaws. The battery design aims to use up less electrolyte while providing more mileage per cycle of charging.
Pilot Industries manufactures solar batteries that can be used to store the power generated by a solar installation. The company’s new solar range not only helps reduce the electricity bill, but also contributes towards curbing emissions. Solar batteries are highly durable and safe, and can be recharged many times. Each battery has an exclusive deep cycle high density plate technology that gives higher back-up than other batteries of the same class range. The solar battery design is as per the IS 13369 and IEC 61427 standards. The product range also includes solar power conditioning units, which convert the DC power generated by a solar panel into AC for powering the electrical load, and store the remaining DC electricity in the batteries. The company manufactures solar PV panels for smaller scale set-ups and home units. In addition, it offers solar charge controllers to help manage the power going into the battery bank from the solar array. The environmental impact of solar power is significantly smaller than that of other power generation methods.
Future plans and targets
Batteries have several diverse applications. These range from providing the initial power needed to start the car engine to providing back-up power in telecommunications, public transportation and medical procedures. To tap the battery market, Pilot Industries plans to focus on retail and supply products to consumer homes directly, moving beyond its “business to business” model. The company has a growth trajectory set out for the next three years and aims to become one of the top five battery manufacturers in India. Another area that the company is focusing on is the export of its products to other countries.
However, there are some obstacles in the battery and energy storage space. To support the fast-growing e-mobility sector, energy transition, climate change and sustainability, there is a need for more evolved and innovative technologies. In addition, alternative drive concepts must be discovered to significantly reduce emissions. Thus, advancements in battery manufacturing are gaining significance, especially to ensure the production of high performance battery cells. Further, battery manufacturers must aim to produce more sustainably and avoid waste. Going forward, Pilot Industries plans to engage in all such efforts.
This story is based on inputs from Sanjeev Aggarwal, Managing Director, Pilot Industries