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India’s Massive $960 Million Battery-Making Project Moves to Bidding Phase

India is taking a significant stride toward cleaner energy and sustainable transport solutions with a $960 million battery production program, targeting 260 GWh of battery demand by 2030


India is gearing up to take a significant leap in its electric vehicle (EV) industry, with the government ready to launch a robust $960 million battery production initiative. This ambitious project aims to revolutionize the country’s EV battery manufacturing landscape, enhancing both the capacity and technology in this vital sector.

At the heart of this initiative is an 80 billion rupees incentive program designed to attract bids for setting up state-of-the-art electric vehicle battery facilities. The goal is to achieve a combined production capacity of 20 gigawatt-hours (GWh), a move that aligns with the rising demand for high-efficiency batteries in various sectors.

The government’s approach to this massive project involves a discreet yet strategic selection process. Sources privy to this development, who preferred anonymity due to the confidentiality of the plans, revealed that the bidding process is set to commence next month. This proactive step reflects India’s commitment to accelerating its transition to cleaner energy and transportation solutions.

The potential for this venture has already attracted significant interest from a mix of international and domestic companies. Global players like Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd. and Indian industry giants such as Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Amara Raja Energy & Mobility Ltd., Exide Industries Ltd., and Larsen & Toubro Ltd. have expressed keen interest. This diverse interest underscores the project’s vast potential impact on both the global and local battery production markets.

Adding to the momentum, companies like Reliance Industries Ltd., led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt., and Rajesh Exports Ltd., have already been selected to develop 30 GWh of battery capacity under the initial phase of this government-backed program. This move not only demonstrates the government’s commitment to nurturing local talent and industry but also its foresight in scaling up India’s battery production capabilities.

The drive behind this large-scale initiative is fueled by an anticipated surge in battery demand, which is expected to reach 260 GWh by 2030. This demand will cater to a growing array of applications, from electric vehicles and grid-scale energy storage to consumer electronics. This projection, outlined in a joint report by RMI India and the Niti Aayog, India’s policy think tank, paints a picture of a rapidly evolving energy landscape where batteries play a pivotal role.

India’s strategy doesn’t stop at production; it extends into the realm of policy and international collaboration. The government, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is exploring various avenues to bolster the EV sector, including potentially reducing import taxes for battery-powered models. This move, aimed partly to attract major players like Tesla Inc., was highlighted in a recent Financial Times report. Furthermore, the administration is already backing the EV industry with a substantial $3.1 billion incentive program launched in 2021, showcasing a multifaceted approach to embracing cleaner and more sustainable transport solutions.

This comprehensive battery production program is more than just an industrial venture; it represents a key piece in India’s broader strategy to position itself as a leader in the global shift towards renewable energy and sustainable transportation. By fostering innovation, attracting global investments, and prioritizing local manufacturing, India is not only addressing its burgeoning energy needs but also making a significant contribution to the global fight against climate change.

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