The advanced lithium-ion technology research hub, the pilot project located at its headquarters in Tirupati, will become the country's first lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in the private sector over the next few years, Amara Raja Batteries CEO S Vijayanand told PTI.
According to the company 20-25% vehicles in the country are going to be electric till 2025 and Lead acid batteries are going to be relevant for another decade but as Lithium-Ion technology is more efficient the company wants to invest in it.
The company's board has decided to expand its lead-acid batteries business and set up a new 'Energy SBU' encompassing lithium cell and battery pack, EV chargers, energy storage systems, advanced home energy solutions and related products and services. Two thirds of the raw materials are available in India and and only critical minerals have to be imported. For this, the government is already in talks with a few Latin American countries along with Australia which have these minerals aplenty.
Amara Raja is one of the largest manufacturers of lead acid batteries for both industrial and automotive applications in the country. It produces automotive batteries under the brands Amaron and Powerzone and supplies to various OEMs like Ashok Leyland, Ford India, Honda, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, and Tata Motors.
So, the interesting thing here is that multiple companies in the battery space who have signed agreements with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) for the lithium-ion cell technology transfer is without any royalty payment! These companies just paid a basic fee to ISRO and have got technology to manufacture low cost Lithium-Ion cells. Some of these companies who will setup Lithium-Ion cell plants are - Amara Raja, Bharat Electronics Pune, Exicom Tele-Systems, Tata Chemicals, Thermax and more.
In few years time, all these companies will start cranking cells at a large scale. The Indian BIG ICE Mafia has no excuses not to launch EV's.
And there are talks to get the raw materials from Latin America and Australia, which is fantastic. This should also eliminate any China dependency.
With so much investment happening in EV battery space, these are positive signs for Indian EV industry.