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Currently, most of the battery is being imported from China. So, if India has to reduce its dependency on China for such strategic minerals, then India has to work towards developing mining, supply chain, and manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. Recently, Inda sent a team of geologists to Argentina to identify lithium deposits. This team is from a company called Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (Kabil), a joint venture of National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper (HCL), and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL). This team has identified two lithium mines and one copper mine in Argentina. KABIL may acquire it or lease them, depending on the commercial valuation of this mine which is expected to be by February end. This development will help India achieve independence from lithium as a strategic mineral. Achieving independence on strategic minerals such as lithium-ion is extremely important, because there is no significant battery chemistry available in the current market which can easily replace the battery required for an electric vehicle or smartphone. It’s altogether a different thought process that, in longer terms, we may need to move away from lithium based battery, maybe towards hydrogen based fuel. However, we still have to depend on lithium-based batteries in the current market scenario.
In the race to capture the lithium-ion battery market in India, a new kind of economy is expected to be created. This may include export oriented battery manufacturing ecosystem and, as a result, will create different kinds of jobs (more than a million by 2030) related to battery and their manufacturing. According to Arthur D Little, India may need to invest at least USD 10 billion in battery and related activities by 2030. One such initiative to develop batteries in India is from OLA, which plans to develop and launch its own lithium-ion cell by the end of 2023, with an initial investment of USD 500 million on its R&D.
It is not only individual companies that are working towards the development of battery technology in India, but the government is also taking many initiatives through NITI Aayog to facilitate and encourage the development of battery and related manufacturing. NITI Aayog is also encouraging companies to work on battery technology other than lithium-ion. Further, the government is in view of reducing the taxation both on battery and electric vehicles.
We at Marketsandmarkets have undertaken many research studies related to battery and their entire value chain. This may include the study of different chemistry, cell development, machine required for battery production, supply chain, and its direct application products. Some of the reports may include:
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