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Nexus Power: Building an EV future beyond lithium-ion batteries

Odisha-based twin sisters, the co-founders of Nexus Power, use bio-mimicry to make biodegradable fast-charging batteries from crop residue

Naandika Tripathi
Published: Feb 5, 2021 10:33:42 AM IST
Updated: Mar 19, 2021 08:34:41 PM IST

Co-founders of Nexus Power Nikita (left) and Nishita Baliarsingh, 23, make batteries out of crop residue
Image: Swayam Satta Swain for Forbes India

Nishita Baliarsingh | 23
Nikita Baliarsingh | 23
Co-founder and CEO, Nexus Power; Co-founder and COO, Nexus Power

A late-night roof-top conversation and an old biochemistry book from their grandfather’s library gave birth to Nexus Power in April 2019. While discussing electric vehicles (EV), the twin sisters realised there was a need for innovation in battery technology. “The EV industry lacks efficient batteries as most take about four to six hours to charge… hence, only a strong charging infrastructure would quicken the adaptation,” says Nishita Baliarsingh, co-founder and CEO of Nexus Power.

Nexus Power batteries are also bio-degradable, made from crop residue,which is usually burnt causing heavy air pollution in winters. The company procures crop remains and manufactures rechargeable energy-storing cells out of it. “Our batteries are lithium–ion-free and hence eco-friendly and sustainable. Procurement of crop waste helps farmers earn an additional income of ₹25,000 for every 100 batteries,” says Nishita. The batteries can charge from 0 to 100 in 50 minutes. Nexus aims to bring it down to 25 to 30 minutes.

The Bhubaneswar-based company is mostly bootstrapped and expects to go commercial by 2022. The sisters received a grant of ₹4 lakh from the government of India under its TIDE programme.

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According to Pritish Sehgal, investment professional, IAN & IAN Fund (Indian Angel Network), the electric battery segment has suffered from lack of availability of an eco-friendly and localised battery solution with optimised efficiency. Nexus Power addresses these pain points and also provides a faster charging solution. “Although the venture has a long way to go in terms of proving its execution and scale, with its current value proposition it is definitely well-placed in the e-battery space,” he says.

(This story appears in the 12 February, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)