Cabinet okays incentive scheme for battery manufacturing in India

The government of India today approved a scheme to give incentives to companies that want to manufacture batteries in India.

Briefing media after a cabinet meeting, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We have taken a big step to give incentives under the Make in India program to encourage the manufacturing of batteries.”

The move is not entirely unexpected, as batteries — particularly high-efficiency batteries like those based on lithium-ion technology — are seen as a strategically important area going forward.

This is because India is expected to shift to electric vehicles and solar power over the coming 5-7 years.

Both technologies involve large-scale use of batteries.

At present India imports its requirements for lithium-ion batteries mostly from China.

Having missed the solar manufacturing bus, India is keen not to miss the battery manufacturing wave.

It is expected that India could become dependent on other countries if it misses this wave too. India is already dependent on countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq for meeting most of its current energy requirements.

Exact details of the incentives that will be given under the new scheme are expected to be announced in a few minutes.

Separately, Suzuki Motor Corp is already setting up a large lithium-ion battery unit in Gujarat, in association with Toshiba and Denso.

Last year, the Central Electro Chemical Research Institute in Tamil Nadu authorized Tamil Nadu-based Raasi Solar Power to authorize the company to product lithium-ion batteries in India using technology developed by the institute.