India to Get First Lithium Polymer Battery Plant

Canadian-based Electrovaya and Electrotherm (India) Ltd pen MoU to manufacture batteries in Gujarat, India.

Published: 14-Nov-2007

India's first Lithium ion polymer batteries will be manufactured in Gujarat. City-based Electrotherm (India) Ltd has inked a memorandum of understanding with Canadian firm Electrovaya to form a joint venture for this purpose.

The joint venture (JV) will set up an advanced Lithium super polymer battery plant with a capacity of up to 10 MW hours a month. The batteries will be sold in the zero-emission electric vehicle market in India and overseas.

At the singing of the MoU, Mukesh Bhandari, CEO of the company, observed: 'With the new Lithium super polymer technology, we will be able to produce electric vehicles that are the best in the world. The company's target market is global and includes India, the neighbouring countries in Asia as well as North America and Europe.'

Sankar Das Gupto, CEO of Toronto-based Elecrovaya, said: 'We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Electrotherm, a company with access to capital resources to establish and operate a new cost-competitive plant. We are pleased to have access to the fast growing Indian market and a low cost manufacturing location.'

The JV, according to information provided to the Toronto Stock Exchange, will have shared ownership between Electrotherm and Electrovya.

The plant will manufacture battery packs for electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers produced in India.

Both companies will have the right to appoint the managing director and chairman for the JV on an alternate basis.

While Electrovaya will take an equity position in the JV, it will also get an initial payment from the JV for the use of its battery technology and a royalty payment down the road based on plant output.

The Canadian firm would have exclusive rights to export batteries manufactured in the plant to other countries.

According to Electrovaya, its proprietary Lithium ion super polymer battery is equipped with a 35 to 50 kWh battery pack, which enables a vehicle to travel over 320 km between charging, at speeds up to 80 mph.

The company claims this technology is suitable to neighbourhood electric vehicles, which are low-speed (up to 40 km per hour) and long-range vehicles that generate zero emission and have operating costs of up to 90 percent less than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Electrotherm is an engineering firm making direct arc furnaces in plants in Ahmedabad and at Samikyali in Kutch district. It has entered the automobile segment and produces and sells electric two-wheelers under the brand name Yo-bike.

Electrotherm has also inked an MoU with a Chinese company -- Ningbo Olisen Battery Co Ltd -- for the transfer of technology and production of bipolar batteries for bikes and two wheelers.

The MoU was signed at the Dalian Summit held in China. Mukesh Bhandari was a part of the Gujarat team led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, which was invited to the summit.

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