Exide begins production at India’s largest lithium-ion battery plant

NEW DELHI: Battery maker Exide Industries and joint venture partner Switzerland’s Leclanche SA have begun mass production at the nation’s largest lithium-ion battery plant in Gujarat, the companies said on Thursday.

The plant, with total installed capacity of 1.5 Gigawatt hours (GWh), has six automated assembly lines on which it will produce batteries for automobiles and energy storage applications, the joint venture company, Nexcharge, said in a statement.

The push by Nexcharge comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is giving billions of dollars in incentives to companies to build clean cars and their components, including batteries, locally.

Nexcharge has so far invested Rs 250 crore ($33 million) in building and setting up the plant, which also has a cell testing lab, chief executive Stefan Louis said, adding that the company is on a “fast-track” to cater to demand from the mobility and utility sectors. Electric vehicles and clean energy are critical to India meeting its carbon reduction and climate change goals.