JSW Group in Talks with LG Energy Solution for EV Battery Manufacturing in India
Indian conglomerate JSW Group is actively exploring a partnership with South Korea's LG Energy Solution (LGES) to manufacture batteries in India, according to sources with direct knowledge of the discussions. This move aligns with JSW's ambitious plans to establish a local electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.
JSW recently engaged in talks with senior LGES executives in South Korea. The proposal put forth by JSW involves jointly manufacturing battery cells within India, primarily for EVs and energy storage solutions. Both JSW and LGES have refrained from providing official comments on these ongoing discussions.
Building a Local EV Supply Chain
JSW is not limiting its discussions to LGES alone. The company is actively in talks with other renowned battery manufacturers, including China's CATL and Japanese giants Panasonic and Toshiba. The objective is to create a comprehensive local supply chain for EVs, encompassing critical components such as energy storage, motors, and battery management systems.
JSW's Ambitious Targets
According to a source familiar with JSW's EV plans, the company aims to establish a battery manufacturing facility with a capacity of 20 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by the end of this decade. This will be realized through phased expansion, with an initial phase targeting 8 GWh of battery capacity.
Exploring EV Opportunities
JSW's Chairman, Sajjan Jindal, has publicly expressed the company's eagerness to enter the EV market. While initial discussions with China's MG Motor have been put on hold, JSW is actively exploring the possibility of licensing technology from Chinese automaker Leapmotor to manufacture EVs in India under its own brand name.
Responses from Battery Manufacturers
Panasonic and Toshiba have yet to provide official comments regarding their involvement in discussions with JSW about potential partnerships in battery cell manufacturing. Toshiba clarified that it cannot confirm such talks at this stage, while CATL did not respond to inquiries. LG Energy Solution (LGES), a supplier of battery cells to prominent automakers such as Tesla and General Motors, has requested that JSW Group share specific details regarding its requirements for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage.
India's EV Market Outlook
India's EV market is in a growth phase, with Tata Motors currently dominating sales. However, electric vehicles accounted for less than 2% of total car sales in India last year. To accelerate EV adoption, the Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims to increase the share of electric vehicles to 30% of total vehicle sales by 2030. To support this objective, the government is offering substantial incentives to companies for local battery and EV component production. Additionally, there are plans to reduce import taxes for EVs in exchange for investments in local manufacturing.
Tesla has expressed interest in the Indian market and has been engaged in discussions with the government regarding the local manufacturing of electric vehicles and batteries.
LGES's Expansion in India
LG Energy Solution is actively seeking to expand its presence in India, the world's third-largest automobile market. Earlier this year, the company opened an office in New Delhi, underscoring its commitment to growing its automotive, mobility, and energy storage businesses in the country. LGES already supplies imported battery cells to two prominent Indian electric scooter manufacturers, Ola Electric and TVS Motor, and is reportedly in discussions with additional companies.
As the Indian EV landscape continues to evolve, these ongoing discussions between JSW Group and various battery manufacturers have the potential to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Indian EV market and its associated supply chain.
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