India may be planning its own EV battery gigafactory, LiveMint reports, citing an unnamed government official. According to the report, the facility would cost US$4 billion to build.
“We are moving ahead with the plan and a cabinet note for the same has been floated,” the official reportedly said. “Why should India import battery storage units when we have the largest market here?"
This is not the first time media have reported on plans by New Delhi to start building its own battery manufacturing capacity. In January this year, for example, Electrek reported that a company called Magnis Energy Technologies had announced an agreement with the Indian government to build India’s first lithium-ion battery gigafactory in partnership with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and an affiliate of Magnis, LIBCOIN.
Later, in June, media carried a report from The Economic Times that quoted a government official as saying that the gigafactory would have a capacity of as much as 50 GW—up from an earlier plan for 40 GW—and that both local and international bidders would be invited to submit their proposals for the project.
“Financial incentives could include reducing minimum alternate tax [duty] by half and import and export duty waivers or cuts for eight years for successful bidders,” the official said at the time.
When it comes to EVs, India is a nascent market but a potentially huge one. Yet the government is trying to set things in motion by proposing tougher pollution regulation and an eventual phase-out of ICE vehicles along with developing the infrastructure needed for electric cars to become part of the landscape.
For the time being, these are simply too expensive for the vast majority of the population and their ranges are not long enough to be attractive. Still, sooner or later EVs will undoubtedly enter the India market. Even aside from EVs, energy storage is a budding industry on the subcontinent, which would justify the construction of a gigafactory with a view to long-term energy storage demand trends.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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