This is part of the government’s ambitious plan to build large factories to make lithium-ion batteries at an investment of nearly Rs 50,000 crore.

Tesla shows interest in govts plan to build lithium-ion battery factories
Money Electric Vehicles Monday, August 19, 2019 - 18:23
Written by  S. Mahadevan

India’s plans to build mega manufacturing clusters for making lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles may include Tesla Motors. As per a Mint report, Tesla has shown interest in the project and would want to be part of the project.

Tesla has Gigafactory that has a capacity to produce 50 GWhr of battery packs, that may be ultimately good enough to produce battery packs of 150 GWhr. Besides Tesla, it is learnt that companies like Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and BYD Co. Ltd., both of China have also shown interest.

The Indian government’s ambitious project that is being moved through the corridors of the various ministries may see the light of day by early next year. The overall investment is expected to be around Rs 50,000 crore. The government intends to promote India as one of the largest hubs in this part of the world for electric vehicles as well as components. This will have twin objective of cutting down on the import of oil, which is directly linked into the country’s economy and the other bring down the vehicular pollution in the Indian cities.

The proposal involves setting up 50 GWhr capacity lithium ion battery manufacturing units for which the expenditure finance committee (EFC) has already given its approval. The next stage is to obtain the approval of the cabinet and then float the global tenders. The tenders will then have to be evaluated and then the licences issued out for setting up the units.

As per current indications, there will be a stipulation that 5 GWhr will be the minimum capacity for each unit and a maximum of 20 Gwhr. To put this in perspective, each gigawatt hour battery can power 30,000 cars. If it is a question of powering homes, the same power can be used to power 1 million homes for one hour.

Coming back to Tesla, the company has not entered the Indian market with its electric vehicles so far, blaming the high import duties here. There has been some interest directly from the current government with the PM himself and the Minister for Transport visiting the Tesla factory in California during their visit to the US.

India wants to build 24 factories of 10 GWhr each by 2030. Tax incentives have already been announced for electric vehicles and those private investors interested in setting up the battery making units will also be adequately incentivized. There is a proposal to facilitate $1 billion of concessional loans to the investors as well.

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