Gujarat first or Bengaluru in lithium-ion battery? rising controversy


Gandhinagar, 3 June 2023
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel announced that Gujarat will have India’s first lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant. Gujarat is poised to become the leading state in lithium ion cell manufacturing in the country. With the setting up of the plant, Gujarat will become a leading state in lithium ion cell manufacturing. This claim has been made by the Gujarat government. But the truth is something else.

This is the fifth plant announced till date to be set up in Gujarat. Production has also started in the state. It has been many years since Tata announced setting up a plant in Dhorela. Now announced again. There is no place for such plants. There is a new announcement.

Gujarat is not the first in this field, as on 21 April 2023, Pankaj Sharma, co-founder and managing director of Log9, a battery maker for electric vehicles, announced that it had commercialized India’s first indigenously manufactured lithium-ion battery cell. Launched from Which will be made in Bangalore.

Founded in 2015 by Akshay Singhal, Kartik Hajela and Sharma of Log9 Company, Log9 has filed over 80 patents related to battery technology.

After the discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves in Kashmir, which ranks 7th in the world, it has been reported that the 5th factory will be set up in Gujarat.
first agreement
On 12 July 2019, it was announced that Russia and Tata would invest Rs 1.7 lakh crore in Gujarat. In which Rs 4000 crore will be invested in Dholera in Gujarat. Will set up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant. Bought 126 acres of land in ready possession and title clear property. The production capacity will be 10 GW. Incentives can also be given for batteries with a capacity of up to 50 GW.

another agreement
On 2 September 2019, Japan’s Suzuki Motor and Toshiba announced that their lithium-ion battery manufacturing joint venture in Gujarat will start mass production from 2020. A joint lithium ion battery project between Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso in Gujarat is in progress and will start operations in 2020, said Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., at the India Japan Business and Tourism Conclave at the Ahmedabad Management Association . ,

third agreement
15 October 2019 Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and AEPPL Automotive Electronics Power Pvt Ltd of Japan signed an agreement for lithium battery manufacturing expansion plants with a total investment of Rs 4930 crore. The agreement was signed by Ichizo Aoyama, Managing Director, AEPPL and M.K. Das signed in the presence of the Chief Minister.
There is no answer as to what happened to this agreement.

4th plant running
7 May 2022 NexCharge, a joint venture between India’s Exide Industries Ltd and Switzerland’s LeLanch SA, has commissioned a Rs 250-crore manufacturing plant in Gujarat province. The company’s new plant is fully automated and equipped with advanced technology. The plant is spread over 6,10,098 sq.ft. NexCharge has started mass production of Lithium-Ion battery packs at this plant. It is claimed to be India’s largest plant for lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing. The plant has six fully automated assembly lines and testing laboratories with an installed capacity of 1.5 GWh. The product line is vast. Now we can make 3V to 1000V battery packs with sizes ranging from 10cm to 2m. Our production setup is divided into three sections.

lithium reserves

The world’s second largest lithium deposit has been discovered in Kashmir, India. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered lithium deposits of about 5.9 million tonnes in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi district in Jammu and Kashmir for the first time. This will help address the shortage of lithium, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs) and other charging devices in the country. India now has the seventh largest source of lithium worldwide.

Large deposits of the metal are located in the US, Australia, Chile, China, Argentina and Bolivia.
The name lithium is derived from the Greek word ‘lithos’. It means ‘stone’. It is a non-ferrous metal. It is used in making all kinds of rechargeable batteries including mobile-laptops, vehicles. It is also helpful in treating diseases like mood swings and bipolar disorder.

Lithium batteries are much smaller than other batteries, being rechargeable they also have a longer life span. The 600kg lithium-ion battery and the 4000kg lead-acid battery have the same capacity.

As of 2020, India ranks fourth in the world in terms of lithium imports. India sources about 80% of its lithium-ion batteries from China. India is working on buying stake in lithium rich countries like Argentina, Chile, Australia and Bolivia. The availability of lithium in the country will give a boost to battery manufacturing.

India is dependent on China for ion cell manufacturing. The Central Government has allocated Rs. 18,000 crore Production Link Incentive Scheme announced. Companies like Ola Electric, Reliance Industries and Rajesh Exports had tied up to get the incentive. Now Tata has come on the field. But Log9 company does not want to use incentive scheme for cell manufacturing.
Typically, automakers import battery cells from China or South Korea. This will help in establishing battery manufacturing eco system in the state. The MoU was signed by Vijay Nehra, CEO of Agartas Energy Storage Solutions Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Tata Group and Secretary, Science & Technology, Government of Gujarat.
By 2030, 50 percent carbon free energy and 100 percent electric vehicles will run in the country. Gujarat has given a new direction with this Giga Factory. Such is the claim of the government. With an initial investment of Rs 13,000 crore, it will have a production capacity of 20 Gwh. 13 thousand people will get direct and indirect employment.
The state government will increase the production of electric vehicles to increase carbon emission free energy-green clean energy and reduce carbon emissions by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.
As the use of EVs increases, the reliance on lithium-ion batteries will increase significantly.
Log9 company claims
Log9’s initial capacity will be to manufacture 50 MWh of batteries, which will be capable of powering 25,000 electric two-wheelers. The company has invested $5 million. Log9 is the first in India to introduce indigenous batteries in EVs. Likely to happen in the current quarter.
The company raised $45 million from Amara Raja Batteries and Petronas Ventures. The Economic Times reported on 23 January. Amara Raja Batteries will mass-produce the battery using Log9’s cell technology.