TN, Karnataka in race to house India's first EV-cum-Li-ion battery manufacturing facility

Both the state governments have signed MoU with the Elest Private Limited. The firm has not yet decided on which State to partner with.
An electric vehicle replenishing charge at a charging stations. (File photo| EPS)
An electric vehicle replenishing charge at a charging stations. (File photo| EPS)

CHENNAI: Who will house India's first integrated Electric Vehicles-cum-lithium ion batteries manufacturing facility? Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are locking horns to take the honours.

Both the state governments have signed MoU with Elest Private Limited. Also, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has been incorporated by Bengaluru-based Rajesh Exports specifically for the project, which would attract investment of nearly Rs 8,000 crore in immediate future.

The MoU with the Tamil Nadu government was signed last month and the government has reportedly offered land in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, or Cheyyar. "We have signed MoU with Tamil Nadu's Guidance Bureau in front of Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami in February. Seen lands in 2-3 locations. We are yet to decide on which State to partner with," said Shyam Ragupathy, CEO of Electric Mobility Division Rajesh Exports Ltd.

Ragupathy said the company was waiting for the Central government to invite applications for manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries under Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme. "Even today we had a discussion with Niti Ayog officials on the PLI scheme. We want to apply and see. Under the PLI scheme, we need to enter into a tripartite agreement. So, we are still evaluating on which State to partner with," he said.

The Centre has been taking steps under Atmanirbhar initiative to promote production of electric vehicles and lithium-ion cells and batteries in India. On November last, the Union government announced the PLI scheme worth Rs 18,000 crore to promote lithium-ion cell manufacturing in India. In its effort to reduce vehicular emissions and crude oil imports, the government urged vehicle manufacturers to develop and make electric vehicles in India and earmarked Rs 10,000 crore as subsidy under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid vehicle (FAME) scheme in 2019 to promote sales of electric vehicles and setting up of related infrastructure such as charging stations.

On the production scale of the proposed integrated facility, Ragupathy said the EV manufacturing unit is looking at production of 10,000 commercial buses and trucks per year and the initial planned capacity of lithium-ion battery manufacturing unit will be 4 gigawatt, which will expand to 16 gigawatts in future. "The estimated land required for the project is 175 acres. This will be the first of its kind facility in India where electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries are manufactured in-house," he said.

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