India to Set its First EV Battery Plant in Karnataka to End China’s Monopoly

Epsilon Advanced Materials Pvt. has become the first EV battery plant in Karnataka. The plant is a big step towards ending China’s dominance when it comes to mass-producing electric vehicle batteries. Apparently, Epsilon Advanced Materials is India’s first manufacturer of lithium-ion battery parts.

The plant is sourcing the raw material from the largest steel mill, owned by Vikram  Handa’s father-in-law, Sajjan Jindal. The investment is projected to be 60 billion rupees, aimed to produce 100,000 tonnes of synthetic graphite anode by 2030 – 10% of the estimated global demand.

India to Set First EV Battery Plant in Karnataka to End China's Monopoly

‘Made In India’ Lithium-Ion Batteries to End Dependence on China | Image: The Better India

The anode materials are the negative electrode present in lithium-ion batteries, accounting for 25% of the cell’s components. 80% of the world’s supply of anode is produced by China alone, which imports raw materials from countries like India. With the current move, Vikram Handa aims to create India’s transition from a battery mineral center to a core manufacturing hub.

There is an optimistic outlook for India’s battery space for the next decade. It might take some years, but India is a huge auto market that can no longer be ignored, Handa states. Many Indian automakers have started investing in manufacturing electric vehicles. Then there’s global giant Tesla – which has picked Karnataka – the same state where Epsilon has established its factory, for its first plant.

One of the greatest factors to push the focus on new energy vehicles is to clean up India’s toxic atmosphere. The adoption of EVs will be slow, due to the lack of infrastructure and technology, costs of the car, and delay in policy and funds for the sector – but the change will come surely.

India to Set First EV Battery Plant in Karnataka to End China's Monopoly

India’s first EV battery plant is coming up in Karnataka | Image: The Print

The parent company of Epsilon processes coal tar, sourced from JSW Steel Ltd. to black pellets used from automobile tires to paints. Switch to battery materials would require further processing by the company. Epsilon has also secured a patent for furnace design and has three other patents lined up this year. The company is also fueled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to lure manufacturers from China.

Handa says that India has a huge opportunity to produce electric vehicle batteries locally – the country has the manpower and easier access to raw materials. The success of this venture will lay a new path ahead for India in achieving various Paris Agreement goals.

Via: Financial Express

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