Maruti’s Japanese partner Suzuki Motor Corp will set up a plant for lithium-ion batteries at Hansalpur in Gujarat while also starting work on a third car-making plant at the manufacturing location in the state.
The lithium-ion plant is being set up in partnership with Denso and Toshiba and will start production by 2020.
The lithium-ion plant will see the partners invest $180 million (Rs 1,151 crore). While Toshiba will make the cell module, it will be built on Denso’s technology. Suzuki will use these on its cars.
Maruti Suzuki is the market leader in Indian automobile industry. Mr R C Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India commenting on plans for Electric Vehicles (EVs) said:
Your company will not hold back in the segment. As soon as we can determine the customer preference, we will come up with such models. In the meantime, focus will be to increase fuel efficiency (in current models) and bring in new technologies.
Mr Bhargava said,
We’ve commissioned the first assembly line (250,000 units) at the Gujarat plant. Work is underway on the second and third lines.
On electro-mobility, Mr Bhargava said,
We need to reduce dependency on energy imports, hence this is a timely move on technology but we need conducive policies. While the government has to enable mass scale electric mobility, the auto industry has the responsibility of making electric vehicles acceptable to existing vehicle users in the Indian market. We have to move towards larger use of EVs and as an industry we should encourage them.
Customers should be able to use their car wherever and whenever they want to
said Mr Bhargava.
The electro-mobility in India shall increase in India and the export of IC engined-vehicles would continue to certain markets like Africa and other oil exporting countries where EVs are not promoted yet.