Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Amid EV push, India targets world corporations for native battery manufacturing

October 27, 2021

This is India’s first coordinated effort to transition to sustainable mobility, and it comes only weeks before the United Nations’ climate change conference

As it seeks to develop a domestic supply chain for sustainable transportation, India wants to pitch corporations such as Tesla Inc, Samsung, and LG Energy to convince them to participate in battery manufacturing locally, according to two government sources. According to one of the officials, India would organise five roadshows beginning next month in nations such as the United States, Germany, France, South Korea, and Japan to persuade battery manufacturers to set up local production. Although a delegate list has not yet been announced, Tesla, LG Energy, and Samsung are among those who will be invited. Northvolt, Panasonic, and Toshiba are among the other companies targeted, according to the official. The initiative is part of a larger $2.4 billion incentive scheme to expand battery manufacturing, for which the government has begun soliciting investment proposals.

While domestic companies such as Reliance Industries, Adani Group, and Tata Group have expressed interest, global companies have showed minimal interest so far, according to the official. He noted that some international firms are apprehensive to enter India without a local partner since it involves a substantial investment and India still has a bad record of contract enforcement. Others prefer to invest in larger markets, such as the United States and Europe, where battery demand is stronger. “Bringing in international corporations signals seriousness, and they will also bring in high technology, quality, and safety standards,” the source said.

India’s ambitions come as countries prepare for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next week (COP26). India considers clean vehicle technology to be a critical component of its effort to reduce pollution in major cities and reduce oil dependency while fulfilling its emissions targets. Electric vehicles (EVs) now account for a small percentage of overall sales in India, owing to their high cost and the fact that the batteries are imported. However, as the government provides incentives to both automakers and EV purchasers, growth is picking up.