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In a solid boost to the emerging Indian electric car community, Suzuki Motors, Toshiba and Denso will now be jointly producing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in India.
This decision comes in line with the government's efforts to stabilise the EV industry here, including schemes such as FAME India. The company will be formed this year and a total of 20 billion Japanese yen (around Rs 1,186 crore) will be initially invested. “In India, new CO2 standards for automobiles are planned to be introduced. In the Indian automotive market where compact cars are the mainstream models, introduction of sustainable technology suitable for such affordable cars is required,” a statement released by Suzuki said. Suzuki will own 50 percent of this new venture, whereas Toshiba will have 40 percent and Japanese automotive components manufacturer Denso will have 10 percent participation.
This is a crucial move for the Indian auto industry at a time when vehicular pollution has reached dangerous heights. At the moment, lithium-ion batteries account for 50 percent of the cost of an electric vehicle and are imported from China thus costing the same as normal batteries. Other car manufacturers, such as Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd are 'delighted' with this new development. Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra said, “We would welcome such a move. We are doing our bit by building power trains and vehicles. Anybody who contributes to chargers and batteries... we will be very happy to see that as they will build the ecosystem for the country. If Suzuki aims to bring down battery costs, that’s very delightful."