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India needs to produce Lithium-ion batteries for EVs to be successful : Ananth Geete

The Minister said that India must become a hub for the manufacture and export of lithium-ion batteries. If well implemented, this move should be able to exponentially reduce the costs of manufacturing electric cars in India!

By: | Updated: June 6, 2018 3:52 PM
Heavy Industries, Anant Geete, Road accident, minor injuries, Raigad road Union Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Geete (Image: PTI)

After making lofty claims of 100% electric vehicles by 2032, the Indian government is presently on a mission of backtracking from its previous claims. In addition, there are some fine-tunings coming along the way to reposition the government's stand on E mobility as ministers finally begin to realise the uphill task of being able to live up to their words. One of the most recent such events was on World Environment Day, alongside the launch of another electric bus born out of the collaboration between Goldstone-BYD. Ananth Geete, Union Cabinet Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises said that while Electric cars may still be a while away, the true leaders of the shift to renewable energy will be public transport vehicles. He went on to say if India is able to achieve hundred percent electrification in transport, the adverse effect of motor vehicles on the environment will be notably reduced. As of today, thanks to the Faster Adoption of Manufacture Electric-Vehicles scheme (FAME), over 10 cities have already claimed 400 buses at greatly incentivised costs.

He explained that a large reason for the almost uncomparable cost between a conventional car and an electric car are the lithium-ion batteries, that still require to be imported to India. In order to bring costs lower, the Minister said that India must become a hub for the manufacture and export of lithium-ion batteries. If well implemented, this move should be able to exponentially reduce the costs of manufacturing electric cars in India. A number of manufacturing facilities across India have already been announced, including Suzuki and GoldStone BYD. While India, will still be dependant on the import of lithium as a raw material, the production of the cells in India will greatly reduce the cost of electric cars and make them more affordable to the masses.

Thus far, the government's push for electric mobility has been through multiple back-and-forths in terms of policy. The government started out with a target of 100% overall electric mobility by 2032. Soon enough, it was clear that this was an extremely tough task and hence, the government changed the scope of vehicular inclusion to 100 % only for public transport. The number for personal mobility was set at 30 %, much lower than initial claims. As of now, about 6 fully electric vehicles have been confirmed for launch as early as 2020, with more vehicles slated to join the ranks incrementally over the course of the next decade. More focus on battery technology will be pivotal to reduce the projected costs of these vehicles. Hence, we agree with Ananth Geete as the only way to do it is by leapfrogging manufacturing technologies and transforming into a battery manufacturing hub.

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