Exide To Assemble Lithium-Ion Batteries In India

Exide Industries Ltd. plans to start assembling lithium-ion batteries in India soon and will consider local manufacturing when demand grows as the government pushes to make all vehicles electric by 2030.

India’s largest battery maker will source technology from China-based Chaowei Power, a German battery manufacturer, and from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, two people aware of the development told BloombergQuint.

Exide declined to comment when contacted by phone. Chaowei Power, which provides parts for electric motorbikes, did not respond to BloombergQuint’s emailed queries.

Automakers are exploring electric options amid India’s push to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Battery-powered cars and motorbikes are taxed at 12 percent under the Goods and Services Tax compared to at least 43 percent levy on other vehicles. The government has already placed its first order for electric sedans, that will be shared by Tata Motors Ltd. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Exide had received a test-order for lithium-ion batteries from Hero Group’s electric two-wheeler maker Hero Electric, the first of the two people quoted above said. There hasn’t been any breakthrough, but the company is in talks with other automakers and also with the government for lithium-ion batteries, he said.

While the company is keeping itself ready for a change to electric vehicles, demand for its lead-acid batteries from electric-rickshaws is rising. It’s a high margin product as the replacement cycle is one year, said the person.

Carmakers were also driving the demand and the company’s plants are operating at full capacity, the second person said.

Exide is scheduled to announce its earnings for the quarter ended September on October 25.

Source- Bloomberg Quint