Exide Industries Ltd, India's leading manufacturer of lead acid storage batteries and power storage solutions provider, has formed a joint venture with the Switzerland-based Leclanche SA, one of the world's leading energy storage solution companies, to build lithium-ion batteries and provide energy storage systems for India's electric vehicle market and grid-based applications. Exide Industries, which is committed to setting up large-scale manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, will be the majority shareholder and Leclanche will be the strategic minority shareholder of the JV.
The JV will set up a production plant in Gujarat. A module and battery pack assembly line is expected to be operational by Q2 2019 and a lithium-ion cell production plant is expected to be in operation by mid 2020. In the intervening period, cells will be sourced from Leclanche's plant in Willstatt, Germany.
With all the major cities in the world suffering from record-breaking pollution levels, there is an urgent need for radical new ways to power transport. Countries all over the world are working to find alternative solutions to reduce harmful NOx emissions, which are damaging to human health and the environment.
As part of the JV, Leclanche will provide access to its knowhow and intellectual property for lithium-ion cells, modules and battery management systems and Exide Industries will leverage its extensive sales network and brand. As a result of this unique combination, the JV is ideally positioned to be a leading provider of storage solutions for electric vehicles and energy storage applications in India and will also contribute to developing solutions to increase the amount of renewable energy that is used and reduce India's dependence on fossil fuels.
The JV will focus on e-transport, stationary energy storage systems and specialty storage markets. In e-transport, the target segment is fleet vehicles including e-buses, e-wheelers and e-rickshaws.
Gautam Chatterjee, CEO of Exide Industries, said, “Leclanche SA is the perfect partner for us in India. The company brings superior technology, modules and battery management systems, as well as immediate access to engineering resources to build market-ready products. This ideally compliments our leading position in the lead acid storage battery market in India and will allow us to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry, which is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. Efforts to develop alternate state-of-the-art technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and energy storage solutions are an important step in tackling the environmental challenges."
Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanche, said, “It is a huge honour that Leclanche has been chosen by Exide Industries, India's largest battery manufacturer, to partner with them in their quest to help India achieve its zero emissions goals and reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuel. Exide's selection of Leclanche as its partner of choice is a testament to Leclanche's deep knowhow and IP and a significant endorsement of our world-leading cell and energy storage technologies, which are the product of our strong heritage and a decade of investment in lithium-ion R&D and production.”
He added, “In a region that is expected to be one of the world's largest and fastest growing markets for electric vehicles, the JV shall provide Leclanche with giga-scale procurement volumes, which will help reduce costs, and increase recurring annuity revenues, generating recurring stable revenue growth for the company. This is an important milestone in our stated growth strategy and further evidence that the opportunity for Leclanche is now. We very much look forward to working with Exide Industries in delivering the best that Leclanche has to offer: superior cell technologies, IP and knowhow that combines high quality German engineering and Swiss precision with deep experience in the design and implementation of battery storage solutions.”