Exide Industries, Lelanche’s Battery JV Eyeing Global Markets For Exports

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Currently, the company’s biggest markets are electric three-wheelers and commercial vehicles as well as home UPS systems, but e-two wheelers are fast picking up speed

Homegrown battery maker Exide Industries’s battery pack joint venture with Leclanché – Nexcharge – have begun mass production at the nation’s largest lithium-ion battery plant in the western state of Gujarat.

The JV will also explore options to take its tropical market expertise to other global markets which have the same weather and terrain as India. The company is exploring markets in Africa, South America, Middle East for export options going forward.

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Stefan Louis, CEO & CTO, Nexcharge, said, “These are also tropical markets and they have the same higher temperature, more shock and vibration and greater dust factors which battery packs in India need to work with and so we could look at export options going ahead. We design battery packs with 95% localization excluding the cells and this technology is owned, understood and developed by us and we’re one of the first companies with this expertise in a tropical market.”

The plant, with a total installed capacity of 1.5 Gigawatt hours (GWh), has six automated assembly lines on which it will produce batteries for automobiles and energy storage applications, the joint venture company, Nexcharge, said in a statement.

The Nexcharge factory which has six assembly lines is currently running at below 50% utilization levels. “In full capacity, you have around Rs 1000 crore revenue so without break-even point around Rs 400 crore to maybe grow that will be at a capacity of around a utilization of around 50% (and) it’ll take us a few years like two to four years to get to that capacity,’’ said Louis.

Currently, the company’s biggest markets are electric three-wheelers and commercial vehicles as well as home UPS systems, but e-two wheelers are fast picking up speed. 

While Nexcharge will not get into cell manufacturing in India, JV partner Exide will do so under its subsidiary Exide Energy Solutions which is investing Rs 6,000 crore in a plant in Bengaluru to manufacture li-ion cells, and modules and packs.

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