In a bid to be fully prepared to grab the opportunities in the evolving electric vehicle market, India’s largest lead acid storage battery maker Exide Industries is planning to start production of lithium-ion batteries from its joint venture plant in Gujarat by the end of this calendar year.
Eyeing India’s electric vehicle (EV) market and grid-based applications, Exide had formed a joint venture with Switzerland-based Leclanché SA, one of the world’s leading energy storage solution companies, in June last year. The JV was formed between Exide and Leclanché in a 75:25 ratio.
The JV company’s production plant in Gujarat is the first such indigenous facility in the country for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries and provide energy storage systems for the EV market, with the government’s push towards promoting electric mobility.
“It is inevitable that electric vehicles will come into India. Whether it will be three years down the line, five years down the line or ten years down the line, that can be debated. But we as a company, want to be fully prepared to address this opportunity,” Exide Industries’ MD & CEO Gautam Chatterjee told shareholders here during the company’s 72nd annual general meeting.
“The Gujarat plant is going on full stream. It will start operation by end of this calendar year. Around `100 crore has already been invested. Another `100 crore will be pumped in within March next year,” Chatterjee said.
“At the plant, we are planning three different assembly lines for three different types of products,” he said. The JV company will specifically target e-transport and fleet vehicles, including e-buses, e-wheelers and e-rickshaws.
“Hopefully, the first assembly line will be ready by October-November. And, the others (assembly lines) will be ready by March next year,” Chatterjee said.