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Exide and Leclanché launch Li-ion battery JV in India

Exide Industries Ltd, India’s largest manufacturer of lead acid storage batteries and power storage solutions provider, and Switzerland-based Li-ion battery manufacturer Leclanché SA announced a joint venture to build lithium-ion batteries and provide energy storage systems for India’s electric vehicle market and grid-based applications.

As part of the JV, Leclanché will provide access to its expertise and intellectual property for lithium-ion cells, modules and battery management systems; Exide Industries will leverage its extensive sales network and brand.

The JV’s production plant will be based in Gujarat. Exide Industries, which is committed to setting up large-scale manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, will be the majority shareholder and Leclanché will be the strategic minority shareholder of the JV.

A module and battery pack assembly line is expected to be operational by Q2 2019 and a lithium-ion cell production plant is expected to be in operation by mid 2020. In the intervening period, cells will be sourced from Leclanché’s plant in Willstätt, Germany.

The JV will focus on e-transport, on stationary energy storage systems and speciality storage markets. In e-transport, the target segment is fleet vehicles including e-buses, e-wheelers and e-rickshaws.

As a result of this combination, the JV is ideally positioned to be a leading provider of storage solutions for electric vehicles and energy storage applications in India and will also contribute to developing solutions to increase the amount of renewable energy that is used and reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Leclanché SA is the perfect partner for us in India. The company brings superior technology, modules and battery management systems, as well as immediate access to engineering resources to build market-ready products. This ideally compliments our leading position in the lead acid storage battery market in India and will allow us to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry, which is expected to grow significantly in the next few years.

—Gautam Chatterjee, CEO of Exide Industries

In a region that is expected to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for electric vehicles, the JV will provide Leclanché with giga-scale procurement volumes, which will help reduce costs, and increase recurring annuity revenues, generating recurring stable revenue growth for the company.

This is an important milestone in our stated growth strategy and further evidence that the opportunity for Leclanché is now. We very much look forward to working with Exide Industries in delivering the best that Leclanché has to offer: superior cell technologies, IP and knowhow that combines high quality German engineering and Swiss precision with deep experience in the design and implementation of battery storage solutions.

—Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché

India is the fifth largest car market in the world with the potential to become one of the top three in the near future; there are a projected 400 million customers in need of mobility solutions by the year 2030.

Today, only 4% of Indians have access to private motor vehicles compared to 80% in the US.

By the year 2030, an estimated 600 million vehicles will be on Indian roads—three times the current number. An estimated 40% of cars sold in India could be electric in 2030.

Exide Industries is India’s largest manufacturer of lead acid storage batteries and power storage solutions provider. Its current market capitalization is close to Rs 215 billion (USD 3.2 billion).

With seven international standard factories spread across India for producing batteries, the company offers one of the widest ranges of batteries for every conceivable application in automotive as well as industrial segments. To complete the entire value chain, the company has two captive lead smelting units and two UPS manufacturing facilities. Exide also has manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka and does business globally through its subsidiaries and international affiliates.

Exide’s products are sold globally, particularly in developed markets like Australia, Japan and Western Europe, under its own brand names.

With the help of its collaborators—Shin Kobe and Furukawa of Japan, East Penn of the US and Moura of Brazil—Exide has consistently remained at the cutting edge of international battery technology and introduced various pioneering products and power storage solutions in the Indian and global markets.

Exide’s vast product range, that includes everything in lead acid from the smallest UPS batteries to the giant submarine batteries, find applications in automotive, two-wheelers, inverters, UPS, power, telecom, fork-lift trucks and railways, among others. Exide is also present in the non-conventional energy business where it designs and integrates solar and wind power solutions for use in remote areas of the country.

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