Exide Industries is planning to start manufacturing of Li-Ion batteries from its JV plant with Leclanche in Gujarat by end of this calendar year
India’s largest storage battery maker Exide Industries is planning to start manufacturing of lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries from its joint venture plant in Gujarat by end of this calendar year, according to a high level company official.
Aiming at entering India’s electric vehicles (EV) market and grid-based applications, Exide had formed a 75:25 joint venture with Switzerland-based Leclanché SA, one of the world’s leading energy storage solution companies, in June last year. 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.
The key area of focus for the venture will be e-transport, stationary energy storage systems, and specialty storage markets. In e-transport, which is the primary target segment, the venture will work on a fleet of vehicles including electric buses, electric two-wheelers and electric rickshaws.
“It is inevitable that electric vehicles will come into India. Whether it will be three years or five years 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 during the company’s 72nd annual general meeting.
At the time of formation of the venture, it was announced that a module and battery pack assembly line will to be operational by the second quarter of 2019 and that the Li-ion cell production plant in Gujarat will be in operation by mid-2020. However, those plans have now been fast-tracked with production to begin this year.
“The Gujarat plant is going on full steam. It will start operation by the end of this calendar year. Around Rs 100 crore has already been invested. Another Rs 100 crore will be pumped in within March next year,” Chatterjee said.
He further informed that the plant’s total capacity by end of March would be about 750 megawatts. “We are talking to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for electric buses. Tata Motors is talking to us. We are tying up with Ashok Leyland,” he informed.
The battery major has announced over 14% year-on-year fall in its consolidated net profit to Rs 161.6 crore for the first quarter this fiscal from Rs 188.60 crore for the same period last fiscal