Inclusive Environmental Control Solutions for Automotive and EV Businesses

In a conversation with Charulatha, Correspondent at Siliconindia Magazine, he discusses the unique environmental hurdles encountered by the Automotive/EV sector and explores the most efficient remedies to tackle them."

Deepak Pahwa is an entrepreneur who embarked on his journey at the age of 31 and specialises in the field of dehumidification. Starting with a focus on pharmaceuticals, the venture expanded through joint ventures with US and Dutch companies, eventually becoming a global leader in adsorption technology. With a strong emphasis on research and development, he has adapted to emerging markets like lithium battery production, offering energy-efficient solutions. The entrepreneur, a BHU alumni, brings decades of expertise at the age of 76.

Addressing Environmental Challenges in the Automobile and EV Industry
Electric vehicles (EVs) offer significant benefits by being environmentally friendly, as they do not emit pollution during operation. However, challenges arise in their production, particularly concerning the essential component – the battery. Approximately 30% of an EV's cost centers around the battery, and environmental concerns are intertwined. Up to 40% of energy usage occurs during cell production, along with significant energy consumption in anode and cathode drying processes. This energy demand presents an environmental hurdle, as it necessitates additional energy generation. Furthermore, the use of N-methylpyrrolidone(NMP) as a solvent in anode chemistry introduces environmental issues. Addressing these challenges necessitates efficient energy management in cell manufacturing and implementing solutions for NMP recovery to minimize environmental impact.

Integrating Environmental Control Solutions into our CSR Strategy
An organization can incorporate various activities into its CSR initiatives, with a particular emphasis on environmental stewardship. These activities encompass advocating for sustainability and the adoption of energy-efficient solutions. In the environment sector, a lot of our focus is towards water conservation through rainwater harvesting, rejuvenating, check dams and restoring green belts and parks like Sanjay Van, Delhi. Apart from this, our CSR activities also include backing educational initiatives, especially for migrant children, and hosting eye care camps in tribute to a distinguished ophthalmologist, Padma Shri Dr. Mathra Das Pahwa.

Initiating Innovative Technologies for Business Growth and Sustainable Development
The Group is also working on the Carbon Capture technology and Air Water Generator (AWG) concept. Where carbon capture aids in arresting global warming by reducing industrial and thermal carbon emissions, our breakthrough concept of AWG aims at mitigating the water scarcity problem across the globe.

Promote sustainable manufacturing practices in the automobile or EV sector
In the realm of electric vehicle practices, the environmental consciousness within the automotive industry is undeniably crucial. The focus primarily revolves around reducing the carbon footprint, which extends beyond the vehicle's operation. Elements such as paint shops and, notably, battery production demand sustainable practices. It's imperative to consider not just the electricity powering the cells but also the carbon emissions incurred during manufacturing. Future assessments will scrutinize manufacturing facilities for their carbon footprint, product creation processes, and the energy sources used. Much like calorie counts on a food menu, we're nearing a point where products must specify their carbon impact at every stage. These efforts collectively drive us towards a more sustainable future.

Future assessments will scrutinize manufacturing facilities for their carbon footprint, product creation processes, and the energy sources used.

Technological Innovations Driving Carbon Footprint Reduction in Manufacturing and Production
Sourcing materials is a multi-faceted endeavour. When selecting between Material X and alternatives, consider the manufacturer's environmental impact and the common use. Prioritize options with lower carbon footprints to reduce the net carbon emissions in your product's creation. Companies must adopt evolving strategies for sustainability.

Our products are carefully engineered with sustainability and high energy efficiency capabilities in mind. For example, Bry-Air’s Low Dew Point Dehumidifiers (LDP) specifically aimed at the lithium-ion battery manufacturing, dramatically reduce energy consumption by 30% to 60%. The battery production is by far the major source of energy consumption during the entire process of making an EV. So, our LDP offering is targeted at this exact issue and aims to make the EV manufacturing process as sustainable as the final product is on the road.

In-process carbon emissions are another concern. Energy sourcing plays a vital role, as the energy's carbon content affects in-process emissions. Reducing energy-related carbon emissions is crucial. Even the factory construction phase matters; building design choices determine the one-time carbon investment. Assess factors like the carbon footprint of steel and cement usage to make informed decisions.

At Pahwa Group, we are committed to empowering sustainability in the manufacturing unit through our continuous innovation and the provision of cutting-edge solutions. At our facility in Manesar, we have achieved significant milestones towards this. The facility has been recognized as a Platinum Certified Green Factory Building, complying with the guidelines of renowned green building certification agencies including ASSOCHAM, ECBC, LEED, and the Indian Green Building Council.

Additionally, our plant has been accredited with Net Zero Building Certification, which underscores our efforts to reduce the strain on natural resources by maximizing the use of renewable energy and resources. We also ensure that the least amount of heat is wasted in the process and it is instead channelised towards or reused for other industrial processes rather than being emitted out into the atmosphere. By actively seeking to minimize our carbon footprint, we are dedicated to driving positive change and making a significant contribution to a more sustainable future.

Sustainability is gaining momentum globally due to extreme weather events. America's focus on carbon reduction is driving the emergence of innovative technologies. The future will see extensive carbon measurement across industries. Carbon reduction will be the cornerstone of sustainable manufacturing and equipment. Embrace these changes for a greener future.

"This transition underscores the importance of balancing convenience with sustainable environmental practices."

Potential environmental impact of widespread adoption of electric vehicles
The widespread adoption of electric vehicles presents significant challenges. While electric vehicles offer economic advantages with low-cost charging, the transition to a high EV percentage raises concerns about the strain on electrical grids. The sudden demand for power could overwhelm existing infrastructure, as witnessed in the United States. Expanding charging stations and implementing fast-charging options exacerbates the issue, requiring additional grid capacity and increased power generation. The environmental impact remains uncertain; it depends on whether renewable or non-renewable energy sources are used. To navigate these challenges and realize the benefits of electric vehicles, careful planning, grid upgrades, and a shift toward renewable energy sources are essential. This transition underscores the importance of balancing convenience with sustainable environmental practices.

Government Policies and Regulations Driving Environmental Sustainability in the EV Automobile Industry
Government policies play a crucial role in advancing environmentally sustainable technologies. These policies are moving in the right direction, but implementation needs to be faster. As we take small steps, we'll encounter new challenges, such as potential grid limitations with increased adoption. The government's efforts, like affordable rates for electric vehicle charging in Delhi, are commendable for promoting environmental sustainability. Subsidies further support this industry, which, as it grows, may require fewer incentives. This demonstrates a positive trajectory towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Conclusion: The EV sector faces new challenges, with China leading the way. However, India's exceptional brainpower is rapidly rising to the occasion. In just a few years, we anticipate comprehensive EV production, from batteries to machinery. India's expertise in environment control for cell manufacturing positions us favourably. The future of India in the EV space appears promising.