This will be India’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant.
Suzuki Motor Corporation, the parent company of Maruti Suzuki, and Denso along with Toshiba will jointly invest USD 180 million (Rs 1,135 crore) for setting up a battery pack manufacturing plant in Gujarat that will start production in 2020.
This will be India’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant. It will cater to Maruti Suzuki as well Toyota’s range of electric vehicles of the future. The battery packs will be sold to other original equipment manufacturers, too.
The battery plant is housed within the mega car making facility owned by Suzuki which at present makes 250,000 units every year. Investment is being made for increasing this capacity to 750,000 units a year through three plants. A fourth plant is also under discussion taking the total eco-capacity to 1 million from the Gujarat production site.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe together laid the foundation stone for the lithium-ion battery plant in Gujarat today.
At the foundation stone laying event Osamu Suzuki, Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation said that the battery making facility will not just cater to the Indian market but will address the needs of overseas markets as well. The battery packs will also be used for hybrid cars as well. He, however, did not mention the capacity of the battery plant.
In April this year, the three companies joined hands for setting up the cooperation. Suzuki owns 50 percent in the tripartite joint venture while Toshiba owns 40 percent and balance 10 percent is owned by Denso.
This is seen as a first major and concrete instance of plans of global auto makers of reducing dependence on China which has emerged as the largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries in the world.The strong push towards electrifying future mobility needs of the country is done by the Modi government to drastically cut dependence on fossil fuels. Electric cars have the lowest GST rate of 12 percent while the total tax on other cars has gone up to 50 percent.