Chennai-Based Lucas TVS Plans 10 GWh Battery Gigafactory in Tamil Nadu

Highlights :

  • Major auto component manufacturers entering the battery manufacturing space shd be good news for India’s ambitions.
  • This is one of the earliest at scale ventures promising grid scale batteries too, timed well with an increasing interest in the option in India.

Lucas TVS, the Chennai-based auto components major that is part of the TVS group has signed an agreement with 24M’s advanced ‘SemiSolid’ electrode technology.

24M has built its reputation on the promise of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing process that is more modular, efficient and low cost.

Spun out of MIT, it already has partnerships with EV battery companies and battery storage system makers around the world, including Japan’s Kyocera, which has been piloting production of 24M cells for use in residential battery systems and Canadian residential and small commercial battery storage maker Eguana Technologies. Norwegian lithium battery startup Freyr is also a partner.

Lucas TVS says that it wants to open the gigafactory in Thervoy Kandigai, Gummudipundi, by the second half of 2023 and build up production capacity to 10GWh in two stages, with the expectation that other plants will be constructed around the country at later dates.

The cells manufactured at the plant would be used in stationary energy storage systems — including grid-scale — as well as in electric cars and will also be aimed at replacing lead acid batteries for various applications. We believe the firm will expect to be a part of the PLI scheme for battery manufacturing with these plans.

For 24M, the deal, if it fructifies, will be its first big one in India. Beyond its cost advantages, 24M’s patented cell design enhances safety, reliability, and traceability, by virtually eliminating potential metal contamination, the most common cause of shorts in conventional lithium-ion cells. It has created a binder-free manufacturing process which enables electrodes four to five times thicker than other lithium cells. This removes a “substantial portion of the inactive material set,” including copper, aluminium and cell separator, allowing lower costs and complexity.

Lucas TVS plans to build products using different chemistries, in Pouch and Prismatic cell formats, with high energy density. The products will meet customer needs in e-mobility, stationary energy storage, including grid-scale markets, and lead acid battery replacement. Lucas TVS will also be offering complete battery solutions to those customers who need them.

Lucas TVS believes in investing in the next-generation technologies, which is why we chose to partner with 24M,” stated  T.K. Balaji, Chairman and Managing Director, Lucas TVS. “We are confident that their innovative SemiSolidTM platform technology will enable us to provide our customers affordable e-mobility, lead acid battery replacement and storage solutions with improved quality and best-in-class safety.”

We are delighted to partner with a market leader like Lucas TVS with a 60+ year track record of performance as a leading provider of electromagnetic solutions to the mobility market,” commented Naoki Ota, Chief Executive Officer of 24M. “Our innovative SemiSolidTM technology and ongoing R&D investments will support Lucas TVS’s ambition to become a leader in the energy storage space for mobility, lead acid battery replacement, storage and grid scale markets in India.

The deal follows an interesting pick up of activity and more importantly, funding in the battery space. We had reported earlier on Bengaluru based Log9 materials picking up Amara Raja batteries as a key investor.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International