Automotive battery maker Exide Industries today announced the signing of a pact with Swiss-based firm Leclanche SA for setting up a joint venture company to build lithium-ion batteries and provide energy storage systems for India's electric vehicle market.

As part of the joint venture (JV) agreement, Exide Industries will hold a majority stake of 74.99 per cent and the rest 25.01 per cent will be held by Leclanche in the JV firm, a regulatory filing said.

Leclanche will provide access to its know-how and intellectual property for lithium- ion cells, modules and battery management systems, while Exide Industries will leverage its extensive sales network and brand, it added.

As per the filing, the JV's production plant will be based in Gujarat.

A module and battery pack assembly line are expected to be operational by Q2 2019 and a lithium-ion cell production plant is expected to be in operation by mid-2020.

In the intervening period, cells will be sourced from Leclanche's plant in Willstatt, Germany.

Exide Industries CEO Gautam Chatterjee said: "Leclanche SA is the perfect partner for us in India. The company brings superior technology, modules and battery management systems as well as immediate  access to engineering resources to build market-ready products."

This ideally compliments the company's position in the lead acid storage battery market in India and will allow it to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry, which is expected to grow sharply in the next few years, he added.

Leclanche CEO Anil Srivastava said, "In a region that is expected to be one of the world's largest and fastest growing markets for electric vehicles, the JV shall provide Leclanche with giga-scale procurement volumes, which will help reduce costs and increase recurring annuity revenues, generating recurring stable revenue growth for the company."

The JV firm will focus on e-transport, stationary energy storage systems and speciality storage markets. In e-transport, the target segment is fleet vehicles including e-buses, e-wheelers and e-rickshaws, the filing added.