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News18 » Auto
4-min read

India to Get Tesla Type Gigafactories for EV Battery by 2020, Rs 6000 Crore to be Pumped

3 different Lithium-ion battery manufacturers are expected to set up facilities with a combined capacity of 10 gigawatt in Telangana soon, with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore in the first phase.

News18.com

Updated:July 26, 2019, 4:56 PM IST
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Image for representation. (Photo: Reuters)

With electric vehicles at the heart of the discussion to make India pollution free, the focus is on battery manufacturing. While it’s easier to manufacture electric vehicles and set up proper charging infrastructure, the question remains – ‘From where will we get the batteries’? For any electric vehicle to run, battery is the primary source of power and unlike mobile phones, a car battery is bigger, complex and very expensive, although both use li-ion batteries.

An electric car with 400 km range could cost double the amount of the IC engine powered car and the reason is the battery pack. Also the technology to build such high capable batteries, including the raw materials is limited to few players globally.

India can source these batteries from manufacturers outside the country, but with ambitious plans to push electric vehicles in such a big country, that would cost the economy dearly. The way forward, hence, is to replicate Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada which it uses to power cars like Model 3, S and X and set up own battery manufacturing plants in India. But it’s easier said than done.

The number of electric cars in the world already hit million-mark last year and the International Energy Agency has projected almost 140 million electric cars globally by 2030, if countries meet Paris climate accord targets, in which India has already committed to actively participate.

Government has announced to ban IC engine powered three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers below 150cc by 2025. Also, the planning is being done to do away with IC-engined four wheelers by 2035. On the other hand, various state manufacturers are replacing the diesel/ CNG buses with electric ones.

These kind of aspirations, require batteries in huge numbers. To put things into perspective, a typical two wheeler needs 2 kWh battery to have a 100 km range. If we have to put 1 million electric two wheelers on the road, that would need battery manufacturing size of 2 gWh, or 2 Gigafactories, in simple term.

Then we have buses, four wheelers, three wheelers also, which can easily accumulate to 10 gWh. As per NITI Aayog, India will need 60 GWh by 2025 and 120 by 2030. The good news is, India is in the process to get 10 GWh producing plants by 2020.

Three different Lithium-ion battery (Li-ion) manufacturers are expected to set up their facilities with a combined capacity of 10 gigawatt in Telangana soon, with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore in the first phase.

Director of Electronics, Telangana, Sujai Karampuri, withholding the names of the companies, said the construction of three different facilities is expected to begin in a month or two and production of the cells would begin between nine to 15 months after that. He also indicated that the initial production capacity would be ramped up from one gigawatt in the phase one to 10 gigawatt in the due course with a total investment of Rs 6000 crore.

"Right now they are in the pipeline. We will disclose the names in a matter of month or so. All the three companies put together, it is over Rs 1500 crore investment. The construction would probably start in a month or so. It takes typically nine months to 15 months to come up to the production stage. The combined capacity would approximate 10 gigawatts," he told reporters.

"First they'll start with one gigawatt in the first phase, then they go up to 5 gigawatts. There will be investing Rs 1500 crore in the first phase. But it would translate approximately Rs 6000 crore, total put together for all three phase," he said on the sidelines of 'Electric vehicle Summit-2019.'

The Telangana government had recently informed the NITI Aayog that it was capable of setting up a Giga-Scale Li-ion Battery Manufacturing Plant as envisioned by the Centre. Karampuri said the state government is developing a 200-acre park for EVs, which can further be developed to 800 acres in future.

Telangana Principal Secretary for IT and Industries Jayesh Ranjan said, the state government is implementing various measures and incentives for electric vehicles and related ecosystem under the State's EV Policy, though officially not launched.

On the other hand, state-run BHEL and Libcoin are in talks to form a consortium to initially build a 1GWh lithium-ion battery plant in India, the government has said. The plant's capacity will be scaled up to 30GWh in due course.

"BHEL will be sending a team of senior officers for study of the facilities, R&D infrastructure and other techno-commercial issues soon. Based upon the evaluation and recommendations of the team, further process towards formation of joint venture will be carried forward," the heavy industries and public enterprises ministry said in a statement.

"This project also includes 'Made by India, for India', with focus on core-cost components manufactured domestically. It will also create integrated manufacturing ecosystem resulting in self-reliance and lower cost," the statement issued by the Heavy Industries Ministry said.

With Inputs from PTI

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| Edited by: Arjit Garg
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