December 8, 2022: The executive director of the India Lead Zinc Development Association L Pugazhenthy, best known throughout the industry as Pug, has said the country is “firing on all cylinders” — with lead batteries helping to drive the country forward as one of the world’s few growth economies at this time.
In his welcoming address at the opening session of the International Conference on Lead & Lead Batteries in New Delhi on December 5, Pug said global financial institutions such as the World Bank were acknowledging this is “India’s decade”.
“We are planning to achieve a GDP of 6.5% for the current financial year and the batteries manufacturing sector and associated industries is playing a major role,” the lead industry veteran told Batteries International at the conference, which was dedicated to highlighting opportunities in energy storage, e-mobility and the environment.
On the rise in popularity of EVs, Pug stressed that lead batteries were still a key requirement. “The whole world talks about lithium battery manufacturing but where do lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite really stand as sustainable sources?”
But he also cautioned against complacency in the lead industry, saying companies had to remain vigilant in cracking down on the informal, recycling sector.
“We must make sure that backyard recycling disappears from our dictionary,” he said. “We are a technologically-advanced country and we don’t need it.”
On a recent controversial ruling by the Delhi High Court, restricting the use of lead batteries in e-rickshaws, he said the move was: “partly due to misinformation and partly due to lack of guidance”.
“We’ve been using lead batteries in cars, motorcycles and scooters for decades without incidences of fires or explosions involving the batteries — unlike lithium products.
“This was a very wrong move by the court and I would hope that by talking to organizations and government ministries the situation can be rectified because lead batteries are such recyclable, reliable and affordable products,” he said.