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Old 19th August 2019, 18:54   #1
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Default NITI Aayog plans Tesla-style gigafactories in India; Tesla, BYD, CATL show interest

According to an anonymous government official, Tesla has shown interest in the governments plans to draw up massive lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in India with foreign investment.


New Delhi: Tesla and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) are among the companies that have shown an initial interest in the Indian government’s plan to build large factories to make lithium-ion batteries at an investment of about ₹50,000 crore.

Among the other firms that have shown an interest in the mega project is China’s BYD Co. Ltd, said two government officials aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

The robust global interest comes amid a strong push by the government to make India a global manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and their components. This is aimed at arresting the South Asian country’s reputation as the world’s third-largest crude oil importer, saving on precious foreign exchange and also controlling pollution in its major cities.

“This is a multibillion dollar opportunity. The EFC (expenditure finance committee) meeting has been done. It will now come up in the cabinet," said the first government official cited above.

Aimed at securing India’s energy needs, the plan to set up these 50-gigawatt hour (GWh) factories has been cleared by EFC, with the final tender expected to be awarded by February. Each gigawatt hour (1,000 megawatt hours) of battery capacity can power 1 million homes for an hour and around 30,000 electric cars.
It was reported in the last week of July 2019 (Link) that NITI Aayog has plans to develop Gigawatt-scale lithium-ion battery factories, with the proposal being to build 6 such plants by 2025 and 12 by 2030. The move is aimed at addressing multiple points - reducing India's dependence on crude oil imports, increasing clean energy adoption at a national scale, and finally create employment opportunities in a sector currently in nascent stages (currently only China as a country and Tesla, Panasonic as private entities have any significant footprint in this space).

Tesla's "Gigafactory" approach has been a wildly successful one for them (although the ramifications haven't yet been completely realized by many) - it has allowed for a massive lead in battery manufacturing capability, and with other manufacturers just now getting their act together, they'll be content with the battery supply from third party suppliers for a while, until they try to launch a mass-market car and realize that they don't have enough battery production to match the vehicle production (then again, most manufacturers are only making sufficient noise and publicity about electrification but in reality barely making enough EVs to matter).

Battery production is the next big frontier in EV tech, and any country that invests heavily in it is going to win big time (look at China). This is a great initiative, and I hope Tesla wins the bid (if there's any bidding process involved) and sets up a manufacturing plant in India soon. I would hate to see one of the Chinese companies win a bigger share of the pie. As an added bonus, having a battery plant will pave the way for Tesla to finally bring the cars into the Indian market too (I know that a battery presence does not equate at any level to a car assembly plant, but having a foothold at least opens some doors for them).

Last edited by Harshal.Bhosale : 19th August 2019 at 19:00.
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:11   #2
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Default Re: NITI Aayog plans Tesla-style gigafactories in India; Tesla, BYD, CATL show interest

Even if Tesla does not build Gigafactory in India, it would be great if few of the other battery giants like CATL, BYD, LG Chem, Samsung SDI, Panasonic, SK innovation comes to India through this program. Battery R&D, manufacturing is not only capital intensive but also highly competitive. Till recently battery costs came down mainly due to innovation. Prices continue to decline from now on due to economies of scale in addition to technology improvement. Below is the roadmap of CATL for the next 4 years.

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Above roadmap is from early 2018. CATL already met 2019 timeline (180 wh/kg) and few cars already released. In the next 4 years density is going to increase ~47% resulting in batteries with higher range and capacity in same footprint or much smaller batteries with same range. Between 2017-2023, that is 90% density improvement.
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