October 13, 2022: India’s Exide Industries formally launched construction of its lithium ion cell gigafactory in Bengaluru on September 27 — but has pledged to maintain its production and development of lead batteries.
The greenfield project was announced by Exide in March, when it said it had agreed a long-term technical collaboration deal with China’s SVOLT Energy Technology.
Managing director and CEO Subir Chakraborty told dignitaries at a ceremony marking the start of work on the new plant: “While we continue to maintain our leading position in the lead acid battery market of the past 75 years, we have simultaneously taken significant steps to strengthen our position in the emerging li-ion market.”
The first phase of the facility is to be operational by the end of 2024.
Chakraborty said the project would not have been possible without the strong support of the Karnataka state government.
Karnataka’s chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and skills development minister Ashwath Narayan were among those attending the ceremony.
The new plant will span more than 80 acres of land and manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles and other industrial uses.
SVOLT, in addition to providing the technology for the plant, is providing unspecified support for construction on a turnkey basis.
Exide is also setting up a research and development laboratory and pilot manufacturing line to support new product development for the Indian market.