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What’s next for India’s battery manufacturing industry in 2024?

An artistic rendition of Ola Giga Factory. Source: Ola Electric Mobility.

The year 2024 will prove to be a notable year for India's domestic cell manufacturing industry.

After years of laying the policy and regulatory groundwork for building a domestic cell manufacturing base, India could finally witness several giga factories enter its first phase of commercial operations in 2024.

Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of India's leading electric two-wheeler, Ola Electric, earlier this month announced that the Ola giga factory in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu, will be operational by February 2024 -- producing the country's first lithium-ion battery cells.

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd, along with Reliance New Energy Ltd, and Rajesh Exports Ltd were among the three beneficiaries selected to receive financial incentives under the INR 18,100 crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage programme aimed at achieving 50 GWh of ACC and 5 GWh of "Niche" ACC manufacturing in India.

As per the Program Agreement signed by the beneficiary companies in July 2022, the manufacturing facilities are to be set up within two years, and the ACC-PLI incentive will be disbursed thereafter over five years on the sale of batteries manufactured in India.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries, the office authorized to oversee the implementation of the ACC-PLI in battery manufacturing disclosed that the total investment by the three selected beneficiaries had reached up to ₹ 2090 crore in August 2023. Then, MHI noted that the beneficiaries have almost completed the prototype testing and looking to begin commercial production progressively in phases, in FY 2024. 

[Note: In March 2022, after the first round of the ACC PLI bidding concluded, four companies were allocated a total capacity of 50 GWh including Hyundai Global Motors which was allotted 20 GWh capacity. However, the company pulled out of the scheme later, following which MHI opened the window for re-bidding the balance 20GWh capacity under the scheme. The ministry is yet to share a timeline for the release of a tender for the balance of 20GWh ACC capacity.]

Apart from Ola's cell manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, Reliance New Energy is setting up its battery giga factory in Jamnagar, Gujarat, and Rajesh Exports is setting up its cell manufacturing facility in Dharwad, Karnataka.

In addition to the 30GWh of ACC battery manufacturing capacity allocated by the MHI under the PLI Program, an estimated 95GWh of battery manufacturing capacity is projected to be created by private players in the country.

From large multinational conglomerates like Reliance Industries, Tata Group, and Suzuki to legacy battery businesses such as Amara Raja, Exide, and new entrants like Log9, Godi, and Nsure several companies are readying to enter India's cell manufacturing space with investments running into billions of dollars.

Here are some companies to watch out for in 2024:

 Amara Raja Batteries

Amara Raja Batteries began the construction of the first giga factory in the state of Telangana last year. With a planned investment of INR 9,500 crore over the decade, Amara Raja's giga factory in Divitipalli, Mahabubnagar district will manufacture lithium-ion battery cells with a capacity of 16GWh and battery packs of 5GWh capacity.

Exide Industries

In April 2022, Battery behemoth Exide Industries announced an investment of INR 6,600 to set up a lithium-ion cell manufacturing factory in Karnataka. In its first phase, a 6GWh lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility is expected to become operational by the end of 2024, gradually expanding to a 12GWh capacity integrated lithium-ion battery facility over the next few years.

GODI India

In December 2022, Hyderabad-based GODI India began the production of India's first ever 5.2Ah 21700 cylindrical NMC811 lithium-ion cells. These cells based on silicon anode technology have an energy density of 275Wh/kg. In December 2023, the company received a series B investment from Graphite India Ltd. The strategic investment is expected to augur the company to the next level in advanced cell and materials manufacturing. GODI has plans to set up its first giga factory for manufacturing lithium-ion cells by 2024. 

International Battery Company (IBC)

In August 2023, US-based International Battery Company (IBC) signed an investment pact with the Government of Karnataka to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in the state with an outlay of INR 8000 crore. The company has stated it will be producing Nickel, manganese, and cobalt (NMC) prismatic cells in India at the planned non-captive giga factory.

Log 9 Materials

Log 9 is the only company on the list that has already begun a commercial lithium-ion cell battery production facility. In April 2023, the battery technology startup inaugurated the country's first lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in Jakkur, Bengaluru producing TiB cells. The plant has an initial capacity of 50MWh. Log9 Materials is currently working on expanding its lithium-ion cell manufacturing capacity to 1 GWh and its battery pack manufacturing capacity to 2GWh by the end of 2024 or first quarter of 2025.

NSure Reliable Power Solutions

Bengaluru-based Nsure Reliable Power Solutions (Nsure) has announced an investment of more than INR 1000 crores to enter lithium-ion cell manufacturing in the state of Karnataka. Nsure will produce LFP (lithium iron phosphate) pouch cells. The plant will have a manufacturing plant with an initial production capacity of 1 GWh with a provision to expand the giga factory up to 5GWh or more in the next phase.

Ola Electric Mobility

Ola has begun work for setting up its Ola electric cell giga factory in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu, and is currently working on 4680 cell form factor. The plant with will have a 1 GWh initial production capacity that can be expandable to 20 GWh. The company has announced the Ola giga factory in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu, will be operational by February 2024.

Rajesh Exports

One of the three beneficiaries of the ₹ 18,100 crore PLI Scheme for ACC Battery Storage, Rajesh Exports is setting up a battery cell manufacturing facility in the state of Karnataka. In January 2023, the company incorporated a 100 percent subsidiary firm 'ACC Energy Storage Pvt Ltd' for the execution of the 5 GWh project for manufacturing advanced chemistry lithium-ion cells for making battery packs for EVs and energy storage.

Reliance New Energy

Reliance Industries is currently setting up a giga factory for batteries at the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The factory is expected to begin operation by 2026 and will manufacture battery chemicals, cells, and packs, as well as containerized energy storage solutions. The company will initially produce lithium iron phosphate (LFP) based batteries along with fast-tracking commercialization of its sodium-ion battery technology for the next phase.

Tata Group

The Tata group through its wholly-owned subsidiary Agartas Energy Storage Solutions is expected to begin construction of a 20GWh lithium-ion storage battery factory in Sanand City, Gujarat in the next two months. In June 2023, the Tata group signed an MoU with the Gujarat government with an initial investment of INR 13,000 crore for the giga factory.

TDS Lithium-Ion Battery Gujarat Private Limited

TDS Lithium-Ion Battery Gujarat Private Limited is a joint venture of Toshiba, Denso and Suzuki that has a lithium-ion battery plant at Hansalpur in Gujarat. Earlier in January, Maruti Suzuki announced it expects to export lithium-ion battery cells and modules worth around INR 750 crore beginning this fiscal year.

Apart from the aforementioned companies, ETN analysis indicates that Lucas TVS, L&T, Nash Industries, BHEL, Voltrez, and Livguard are also building lithium-ion cell manufacturing facilities likely to begin the first phase of operations between 2025-2030.

With the giga factory race just begun, 2024 marks the beginning of an exciting and competitive phase in India's battery manufacturing story.

India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), the premier industry body focused on promoting advanced energy storage, electric mobility, green hydrogen, and emerging technologies in India considers this phase as India's first step in becoming a global hub for R&D and manufacturing advanced energy storage technologies. The alliance which has played a crucial role in shaping the ACC PLI for battery storage scheme believes to support the development of giga factories in India there's a need to support the battery industry in various aspects related to indigenous manufacturing.

To that end, IESA is organizing its third India Battery Manufacturing & Supply Chain Summit on January 23rd and 24th, 2024. The IBMSC summit is an annual event focused on battery manufacturing, supply chain, technology, policy, regulations, recycling, circular economy, etc., organized under the banner of the India Battery Manufacturing and Supply Chain Council (IBMSCC).

To learn more about the event, visit - https://indiaesa.info/events/ongoing-upcoming-events/india-battery-manufacturing-supply-chain-summit-2024 

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India enters global race for giga factories -  

ETN magazine interviewed Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) to understand the journey that led to India approving PLI scheme for ACC Battery Storage and India's battery storage market.
Author : Shraddha Kakade
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