As the world tries to wean itself off dependence on China for crucial battery materials, India is taking bold steps to position itself as an alternative in the electric vehicle supply chain.
The government has unveiled incentives of at least $3.4 billion to expedite its lagging adoption of EVs as Prime Minister Narendra Modi vows to reach net zero by 2070. The idea is that manufacturing the costliest component — batteries — locally will make the end product more affordable for the mass market and set the country up as a potential exporter, tapping into surging global demand.
The initiatives have piqued the interest of billionaires like Mukesh Ambani, whose Reliance Industries Ltd. is building an EV battery facility as part of a broader $76 billion push into clean energy. Ambani’s is among three companies, including scooter-maker Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. and bullion refiner Rajesh Exports Ltd. set to receive incentives under a $2.3 billion program to support advanced battery cell development.
With gigawatt-scale manufacturing facilities planned, India could carve out a role as an exporter of lithium-ion cells to European and American markets, said Rahul Prithiani, senior director for energy, sustainability and commodities at Crisil Ltd., the local analytics unit of S&P Global. “But for this, India needs to secure robust supply chains along with recycling capabilities,” he said.
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