EV race in India: Reliance, Mahindra and Adani eye billion-dollar battery market

Electric Vehicles Reliance

Leading business groups in India are making plans to foray into, what could be billion-dollar market in a decade, battery manufacturing, and battery pack assembly.

Reliance Industries is aggressive and looking to set-up a factory that would produce Lithius-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries of 25 gigawatt-hours capacity, FactorDaily quoted a source.

“There is a lot happening in the EV space, and Reliance has long been in the energy business. Add to that, it now is a maker of phone and has telecom towers – all of them powered by Li-Ion battery,” anonymous source was quoted as saying. Reliance factory would be in established in either Gujarat or Maharashtra.

A 25 GWh factory will cost at least $3.5 billion, benchmarked against spending on global projects of similar scale. A request for comment sent to Reliance didn’t elicit a response.

Not only Reliance, Adani, the JSW, the Mahindra and the Hero groups of companies are also looking at the battery pack business.

According to Bloomberg, the global production of Li-Ion batteries stands at over 100 GWh today and is expected to climb to 273 GWh by 2021.

Tesla has claimed that it will have the biggest factory that will produce 35 GWh annually when its so-called Gigafactory is fully built out in 2018 in Nevada, US. Though it is yet to make entry in India.

Earlier, Indian government has declared that it wants to be all electric car nation by 2030. Among international players, Suzuki Motor Corp and Toshiba Corp have already unveiled their Li-Ion battery plans for India. Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, speaking in line with the government’s larger plan to have only electric vehicles in India by 2030, suggested the car makers in India to innovate, research and work on new technologies to find alternative transport solutions.

At present, less than 1% of the 200 million vehicles on Indian roads are estimated to be electric vehicles.

Last week, Suzuki announced that it will invest Rs 1,150 crore together with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso Corp. to set up a Li-Ion battery facility in Gujarat. However, Reliance, Adani and Mahindra are yet to confirm the reports.

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