Exide Industries Announces Lithium Cell Manufacturing Plans

India’s largest battery maker Exide Industries has announced its foray into lithium-ion (Li-ion) cell manufacturing with a multi-gigawatt plant planned soon. Exide also has a subsidiary Exide Leclanche Energy Private Limited (under the brand Nexcharge), where Exide recently increased its stake to over 80%. Currently, the firm has a 1.5 GW battery pack assembly plant that manufactures for EV’s and grid applications. However, the cell manufacturing would be done by Exide Industries directly.

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For the Rs 10,040 crore (FY21) Exide, a foray into Lithium cell manufacturing is a logical conclusion considering its pre-eminent position in the Indian market.

“The board of directors of company at its meeting held today i.e. 21st December 2021 accorded in-principle approval to set up a green field multi-gigawatt Li-ion cell manufacturing facility in India,” Exide Industries said in an exchange filing. The company currently has manufacturing plants across Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. It has not disclosed the location of the planned manufacturing plant yet.

The company has said that it also plans to apply for and participate in the Ministry of Heavy Industries’ production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) in the country. The government had in May cleared the Rs 18,100-crore scheme aimed at promoting local manufacturing by battery makers.

Exide CEO Subir Chakroborty is optimistic about the possibilities for the new plant, with the high support from the government for EV’s. Calling cell manufacturing an integral part of the Li-ion battery manufacturing chain, Chakraborty stressed on the need to manufacture these domestically to be competitive in the market.

In an interview to SaurEnergy, Stefan Louis, the head of the Leclanche JV, had estimated the size of the Indian market at 80 GWh by 2030, with the firm targeting a 20-30% market share.

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