South Korean battery giant LG Chem is to work with Indian car multinational Mahindra & Mahindra to develop a “unique” NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) battery for electric vehicles made in India.
Under the partnership, LG Chem will design and supply its newly-developed NMC technology for the Mahindra and SsangYong series of EV— lithium-ion modules for Mahindra Electric’s vehicles— and create battery packs for the Mahindra group and other customers.
Mahindra said it is also developing a battery module manufacturing plant featuring a battery pack production line. The entire facility is expected to be commissioned in the last quarter of 2020 and have an annual capacity of 500,000 sets of battery modules, the company confirmed.
The executive vice-president of LG Chem’s Energy Solution Company, JH Kim, said: “In the field of advanced Li-ion battery technology, LG Chem expects this collaboration will be a memorable moment in forwarding the commercialisation of EVs in the Indian market.”
Mahindra president Hemant Sikka: “The EV revolution is taking the country by storm… we are preparing to scale up in accordance with our expansion plans to meet expected demand.”
BBB reported in June 2017 that the Indian government was encouraging domestic carmakers to set up their own lithium-ion battery plants to lower the cost of EVs made in the country and to make competitively-priced locally-produced vehicles.
Outsiders, such as Japanese auto giants Toyota and Suzuki, also have eyes on the EV market in India and have set out plans to launch a range of EVs in the country by “around 2020” using their locally made lithium-ion batteries.
However, BBB reported last January that India’s government had been urged to remain “technology neutral” in supporting the country’s nascent EV sector— and not to back lithium-ion batteries exclusively.