JSW and LG Energy Solution could make EV batteries in India, sources reveal
NEW DELHI, September 21: Sources told Reuters that the Korean company LG Energy Solution is talking with the Indian company JSW about making batteries together in India. This is part of their plan to make electric vehicles in the country.
One of the sources with firsthand knowledge of the conversations claimed that JSW met with senior LGES officials in Korea earlier this month and proposed a collaboration to produce battery cells for EVs and energy storage in India.
Both LGES and JSW declined to comment on any conversations.
According to the second individual who is knowledgeable about JSW’s EV intentions, the Indian company is also in talks with other battery players like China’s CATL (300750. SZ), Japan’s Panasonic (6752.T), and Toshiba (6502.T), as it tries to establish a local supply chain for EVs.
“Due diligence JSW is talking to a lot of people because it needs an ecosystem for an EV. It is looking at storage, motors, battery management,” the person added.
According to the first source, LGES, which provides battery cells to major automakers like Tesla (TSLA.O) and General Motors (GM.N), has asked JSW to reveal specifics of its needs for EVs and energy storage.
The company hopes to set up a plant to create 20-gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery capacity in phases by the end of this decade, starting with 8 Gwh in the first phase, according to a third source briefed on JSW’s EV ambitions.
A stake in China’s MG Motor is being discussed, and JSW’s billionaire chairman Sajjan Jindal has openly expressed his ambition to manufacture electric vehicles (600104. SS).
According to sources who spoke to Reuters last month, talks with MG Motor have been put on hold, while JSW is in talks to license technology to construct electric vehicles in India under its brand with Chinese automaker Leapmotor (9863. HK), sources said.
Panasonic chose not to respond. Toshiba stated that it is unable to confirm “at this time” whether it is in discussions for a partnership with JSW to produce battery cells. An inquiry for comments from CATL was not answered.
Because the discussions are still ongoing and no decision has been taken, all three sources declined to be named.
Small but expanding, India’s EV market is dominated by domestic manufacturer Tata Motors (TAMO.NS). The administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to increase the percentage of electric vehicles to 30% by 2030, from less than 2% of all vehicles sold in 2017.
In addition to developing a new policy for EVs that offers a lower import tax in exchange for investments in local manufacture, it is providing businesses with billions of dollars in incentives to create batteries and other EV components domestically.
Also, Tesla is interested in India and is negotiating with the government to produce EVs and batteries there.
According to a government document, JSW is in talks with LGES as it seeks to expand its footprint in the third-largest auto market in the world, where it launched an office in New Delhi earlier this year to expand its automotive, mobility, and energy storage businesses.
One of the sources noted that LGES is in discussions with additional businesses. Ola Electric, which is sponsored by the SoftBank group, and TVS Motor, a domestic rival, both receive imported battery cells from LGES.
Content Credit: Reuters