There is a need to reduce dependence on the import of lithium ion batteries according to road transport and highways minister Shri Nitin Gadkari. Lithium cells are integral to build rechargeable batteries for EVs, laptops and mobile phones. Currently, India is heavily dependent on import of these cells leading to battery manufacturing has not picking up significantly in India. This is despite the fact that the finance ministry last year announced customs duty exemption on lithium-ion cells, to lower the cost.
China, followed by US, Thailand, Germany, Sweden and South Korea are the top players in lithium-ion cell manufacturing. “We have given mines of lithium ion to two private companies. The country needs to make more EVs as higher volumes will ultimately bring down the cost of the product. Electric vehicles are regarded economically viable as compared to petrol, diesel vehicles. “We expect to get raw material as early as possible. At the same time we are developing technology. We are also doing research on sodium ion technology,” the minister said.