Karnataka Attracts Four Major Investments in Li-ion Battery and Cell Industry

Karnataka Attracts Four Major Investments in Li-ion Battery and Cell Industry


Industry insiders think Karnataka is well on its way to becoming a battery manufacturing powerhouse because at least four significant lithium-ion battery and cell manufacturing sites have been proposed in and around Bangalore in the last year.

This month, the state government and the US-based IBC signed a contract to establish a production facility for recyclable lithium-ion batteries. According to industries minister MB Patil, the business intends to invest INR 8,000 crore in the project, which would be built on a 100-acre tract of land in the Bengaluru Rural area.

With INR 6,000 crore in investments, Exide, a different significant competitor in the market, has proposed building its first multi-gigawatt hour lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility at the Hi-Tech Defence and Aerospace Park in Bengaluru. Incentives from the state that ranged between 18% and 20% of capital expenditures were disclosed by the corporation this month.

With an investment of INR 1,050 crore, lithium-ion cell company NSure Reliable Power Solutions intends to build a gigafactory close to Bengaluru. By October, the business said it will begin operations.

The first commercial cell production facility in India was opened by battery technology firm Log9 Materials at Jakkur in Bengaluru in April. According to co-founder Pankaj Sharma, the state government may offer businesses better conditions.  “Lithium cell production is very energy intensive. We need a constant, steady, inexpensive, and preferably green source of power,” he said.

Another major requirement of battery or cell making, he said, is transporting the imported raw materials before they lose their efficacy. “The materials need to be kept at 22°C. The government can provide dedicated infrastructure corridors from the nearest ports to the landlocked factories,” he said. Auto industry veteran MP Shyam said talent mapping was why investors were choosing sites near Bengaluru. “Battery making takes a lot of power, land, and logistic support. But the one key requirement is talent. Unlike most of the manufacturing sector, these are white collar jobs for engineers, diploma holders, techies, and Bengaluru offers a lot of incentives to the companies’ potential employees.”

Manufacturers, however, also want the government to incentivize research and development in sodium-ion battery making, said Amitabh Saran, CEO of the commercial EV startup Altigreen. “We import lithium from mines in Bolivia and South America, where we are already competing with the likes of China and the US. If the government focuses on the resources the country has, we can become truly self-reliant,” he said. 

EV startup Bounce CEO Vivekananda HR expressed similar views. “Using local materials will go a long way in making EVs affordable,” he said.

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Content Credit: ET Auto