Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso in JV to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in India

Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation, Toshiba Corporation and Denso Corporation have entered into a joint venture agreement to manufacture lithium-ion battery packs in India.

The joint venture will cater to the new CO2 standards for automobiles planned to be introduced in India as the country becomes increasingly environment conscious, Suzuki said in a statement.

The joint venture is looking at the compact cars market in India for introduction of sustainable technology suitable for such affordable cars.

''The battery pack manufacturing joint venture by the three companies will realise stable supply of lithium-ion battery packs in India in the course of promoting sustainable cars in the country and will contribute to 'Make in India' initiative by the Indian government,'' Suzuki stated in its release.

The joint venture company will be established within 2017 and the manufacturing phase will also start at the earliest, Susuki said, adding that Suzuki will share 50 per cent of the initial capital expenditure of 20 billion while Toshiba will hold 40 per cent and Denso the remaining 10 per cent.

To begin with the JV will have a capital of 2 billion.

The establishment of the joint venture company will be further examined in detail by the three companies, and subject to approval by respective authorities in accordance with applicable competition laws, it added.

The move by the Japanese companies comes at a time when the Indian automotive infrastructure is exploring the possibilities of mass manufacture of electric vehicles and looking at battery sources.

Meanwhile, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has developed the technology to manufacture high-power lithium-ion batteries for automobiles and e-vehicles, which the government has asked it to allow auto manufacturers to use.

Automobile companies like Mahindra Renault, Hyundai, Nissan, Tata Motors, battery manufacturer High Energy Batteries and public sector undertakings, BHEL and Indian Oil are interested in producing indigenous lithium-ion batteries and have approached Isro.

Interestingly, the government has also recently asked Isro to allow private manufacturers who are interested in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries to obtain technology from it.