August 2, 2018: India’s lead acid battery companies are intending to lobby the government to give their products a similar tax cut to the one just given to lithium ion batteries, a member of the India Energy Storage Alliance told BESB on August 1.
In what has been hailed by the IESA as a major boost to energy storage technologies, the Goods and Services Tax Council cut the GST rate on lithium batteries from 28% to 18% at a meeting on July 21, along with a cut to 12% for fuel cell vehicles.
However lead acid batteries, and other battery chemistries, were not mentioned at the meeting.
A spokesperson for Customized Energy Solutions India, a member of IESA and an advisory body that works with companies to navigate wholesale and retail electricity markets across the world, said: “There is no change in the GST for lead acid batteries, which remains at 28%, although if the lead acid battery is integrated with solar components, then the effective GST is 5%.
“IESA is working with lead acid companies such as Microtex, LivGuard and others to put forward this voice to the ministries on future GST reduction.
“India’s lead acid battery market is growing at 7% to 8% with newer applications like e-rickshaws, rooftop solar etc. IESA’s Lead Acid Battery Market Landscape report suggests the current market size for lead acid batteries is around $5 billion, which includes both stationary and motive applications.”
While the GST cut was applauded by members of the IESA, some said it did not go far enough, and that other chemistries should not be ignored.
Rahul Walawalkar, executive director of IESA, said: “A further reduction of GST is essential to boost energy storage adoption in India, which can help accelerate investment in manufacturing as well.
“We urge the finance ministry to extend the rate reduction to other forms of energy storage technologies including advanced lead acid, sodium-based batteries, flow batteries, metal air batteries, ultracapacitors, fuel cells and thermal storage technologies.”
Hiren Shah, senior director of energy storage, Delta, said a GST cut to 5%, as had been made on products within the solar industry, would have been “ideal”.