Suzuki starts work on India’s first lithium-ion battery unit

15 Sep 2017


A day after Maruti Suzuki India chairman R C Bhargava defended the government's stance on electric mobility, Marut's Japanese parent Suzuki Motor announced the starting of work on a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Gujarat that would reduce battery cost for electric and hybrid vehicles in India.

Osamu Suzuki with Prime Minister Narendra Modi  

Suzuki Motor will invest more than Rs1,150 crore along with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso to set up India's first lithium ion battery facility in Gujarat.

Suzuki's move to set up a plant to manufacture rechargeable batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles comes as a major boost to the government's ambitious vehicle electrification and `Make in India' programmes.

Besides the battery unit, Suzuki Motor chairman Osamu Suzuki also promised to invest Rs3,800 crore to expand capacity at its car manufacturing unit at Hansalpur near Ahmedabad.

Suzuki will hold 50 per cent stake in the plant, while Toshiba will own 40 per cent and Denso the remaining 10 per cent. The plant will leverage India for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, Osamu Suzuki said while making the announcement during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's India visit.

The new investments will take the company's total investment in the Hansalpur facility in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state to around Rs13,400 crore ($2.1billion).

The battery plant will help Maruti Suzuki stay ahead of India's green mobility programme that is expected to roll in by 2030.

Suzuki has already forged an alliance with Toyota Motor that allows both sides to explore possibilities of cooperation in areas, including alternate fuel technology, safety, IT and mutual supply of products and components.

For Maruti Suzuki,which makes one in every two cars sold in India, setting up of the battery unit is important in the light of the government's ambitious target to sell only electric vehicles starting 2030.

"Maruti Suzuki will be the biggest user ... and (if) those components for these technologies are made in India and then exported - as we would like to grow the economies of scale and bring down the cost - then Make in India becomes a reality," Osamu Suzuki said.

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