Indian auto battery manufacturer, Exide, on Thursday, announced that the company will fancy its chances in the commercial electric vehicles (EV) space. According to a media report, the company plans to assemble e-rickshaws as a part of its forward integration plans.
The report also shared about the Exide’s ambitious plan of generating at least INR 120 Cr of revenue in the very first year of full operations.
While informing more on the company’s integration plan, Gautam Chatterjee, managing director and CEO of Exide Industries said, “We already have batteries for electric vehicles and this was a natural step further as part of our forward integration plan.”
Exide has laid out its plan to manufacture the e-rickshaws at its plant in Dankuni, West Bengal. The company is also going to use its own lead-acid batteries to power the three-wheeler EVs and import other parts required for its manufacturing.
Arun Mittal, director of the automotive business at Exide said that around 100K to 200K new e-rickshaws are getting added every year. “In the first full year of operations, we aim to bag a 10% market share in e-rickshaws,” he added.
The company has currently priced the e-rickshaws at INR 1.2 lakh and is planning to introduce them in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi NCR and North East India. Moreover, the legalities of e-rickshaws are yet to be worked out in western and southern states of the country, the company hasn’t laid out any plans in these markets.
In order to provide their e-rickshaws on easy EMIs, the company is in talks with finance companies and intermediate distributors to come up with leasing schemes.
Exide also plans to launch a lithium-ion variant of the same e-rickshaw in the next six months. However, the upgraded version would be priced a bit higher than the upcoming variant as lithium-ion batteries are four times more expensive than lead-ion ones.
Is India Sure About Using Lithium-Ion?
The Indian government has been finding ways to push for electric mobility in the country as it plans for 30% electric vehicle dependency by 2030. Beyond ensuring that there are a large number of electric vehicles on the road, the government is also focusing on the infrastructure and manufacturing issues.
Along the same lines, the concerns of lithium-ion battery and its import from China and other such countries, the government is now reportedly looking at different alternatives of battery technologies such as polymer-based solid-state batteries.
The concerns further increased after a Chinese company secured lithium mine concessions in countries such as Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.
Here the government’s plan is to prevent India from getting into a vulnerable position like a supply squeeze as has happened in the case of crude oil, with India being the world’s third-largest oil importer.