India's EV Battery Landscape: Challenges and Innovations

India’s EV Battery Landscape: Challenges and Innovations

India, with its vast population and burgeoning economy, is experiencing a rapid evolution in its automobile industry. Amid the global shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), the Indian automotive market is experiencing a transformative change, gradually steering away from fossil fuels and leaning towards a more sustainable and greener future.

Table 1. Global EV Market Share

YearMarket Share

As seen in Table 1, the global EV market share has been showing a steady growth over the past few years, and India is following a similar path. However, this transition towards electric mobility is dependent on one crucial component — the battery.

The battery technology, especially the Lithium-ion batteries, forms the backbone of the electric vehicle. Not only does it influence the performance and efficiency of the EV, but it also impacts its price, maintenance cost, and environmental footprint. It’s no surprise that battery manufacturing has taken center stage in India’s EV journey.

Indian Battery Industry Overview

The battery industry in India is currently at a pivotal juncture. While the lead-acid batteries dominated the market for years, the tide is shifting in favor of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. This shift is driven largely by the expanding electric vehicle (EV) sector, which relies on Li-ion batteries due to their superior energy density, long cycle life, and decreasing costs.

Table 3. Comparison of Lead-acid and Li-ion Batteries

AttributeLead-acid BatteryLi-ion Battery
Energy DensityLowHigh
Cycle LifeShorterLonger
UsageTraditional Vehicles, InvertersElectric Vehicles, Renewable Energy Storage

As shown in Table 3, while the lead-acid batteries come at a lower cost, their energy density and cycle life are far inferior to that of Li-ion batteries. As a result, the latter is the preferred choice for electric vehicles.

The demand for batteries, especially for electric vehicles, is growing exponentially in India. According to a report by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), the market for advanced energy storage is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 6.9% from 2020 to 2027. This presents an immense opportunity for battery manufacturers.

At present, India relies heavily on battery imports, especially from countries like China, Japan, and South Korea. The Indian government recognizes the need for self-reliance in this sector and has initiated policies to boost local manufacturing. Battery manufacturers are also rising to the occasion, making considerable investments in this sector.

Top Battery Manufacturers in India for Electric Vehicles

India has a dynamic and rapidly growing market for battery manufacturing for electric vehicles. Here are some of the leading companies driving this growth:

1. Exide Industries

Exide Industries, one of the most prominent players in India’s battery market, has a long-standing reputation for its lead-acid batteries. The company has recognized the potential of the EV market and ventured into lithium-ion batteries. It set up a multi-million dollar manufacturing unit in Gujarat, in collaboration with Swiss firm Leclanché.

2. Amara Raja Batteries

Amara Raja Batteries, known for their automotive batteries under the brand ‘Amaron’, have also stepped into the EV market. They have announced plans to build a 100MW Lithium-ion assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh, aiming to reduce dependence on imports and cater to the burgeoning demand.

3. Tata Chemicals

Tata Chemicals, a part of the revered Tata Group, is another key player in the lithium-ion battery market. With a proposed factory in Gujarat, the company aims to produce batteries with energy density and life cycle comparable to international standards.

4. Mahindra Electric

Mahindra Electric, the electric vehicle arm of the Mahindra Group, is also making strides in battery manufacturing. The company has launched its state-of-the-art Electric Technology Manufacturing Hub in Karnataka, which includes a battery assembly unit.

Table 4. Top Battery Manufacturers in India

CompanyKnown ForRecent Ventures
Exide IndustriesLead-acid BatteriesLi-ion battery unit in Gujarat
Amara Raja BatteriesAutomotive Batteries (Amaron)100MW Li-ion assembly plant
Tata ChemicalsChemicals and FertilizersProposed factory for Li-ion batteries
Mahindra ElectricElectric VehiclesElectric Technology Manufacturing Hub

As seen in Table 4, these companies are investing heavily in new ventures to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, reflecting their commitment to the EV industry’s growth in India.

Challenges Faced by Battery Manufacturers in India

Despite the significant potential and enthusiastic investments, battery manufacturers for electric vehicles in India face a host of challenges that impact the overall progress in the EV sector. Here are the primary hurdles:

1. Lack of Raw Materials

Manufacturing Lithium-ion batteries requires critical raw materials like Lithium, Cobalt, and Nickel, which are scarce in India. As a result, companies have to rely heavily on imports, causing increased costs and supply chain complexities.

2. Technological Constraints

India is relatively new to the field of advanced battery technologies. The country lacks the sophisticated technology and skilled manpower required for large-scale, high-quality production of Lithium-ion batteries.

3. High Initial Costs

The initial investment required for setting up a battery manufacturing unit is massive, which can be a deterrent for many companies. Furthermore, the high cost of batteries makes electric vehicles less affordable for a significant portion of the Indian population.

Table 5: Challenges Faced by Indian Battery Manufacturers

Lack of Raw MaterialsScarcity of critical raw materials like Lithium, Cobalt, and Nickel in India
Technological ConstraintsLack of sophisticated technology and skilled manpower
High Initial CostsMassive investments required for setting up manufacturing units and high cost of batteries

As highlighted in Table 5, these challenges are major roadblocks in the path of India’s journey towards electric mobility. To overcome these hurdles, active support from the government, robust policies, and consistent efforts from manufacturers are necessary.

Government Policies and Support

Recognizing the pivotal role of batteries in the EV sector, the Indian government has taken proactive steps to support and incentivize local battery manufacturing. Here are some key government initiatives:

1. National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020

Launched in 2013, NEMMP aims to enhance national fuel security, enable the Indian automotive industry’s global manufacturing leadership, and ensure affordable and environment-friendly transportation.

2. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME)

Under the FAME scheme, the government provides subsidies to manufacturers and buyers of electric vehicles, thereby reducing the high upfront costs.

3. Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme

The government has introduced the PLI scheme specifically for advanced battery manufacturing, promising an outlay of INR 18,100 crores over five years. This initiative is expected to attract global and domestic players to set up competitive battery manufacturing units in the country.

4. Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP)

Under the PMP, the government encourages the gradual localization of EV components, thereby reducing dependency on imports and fostering a robust local supply chain.

Table 6. Government Initiatives for Battery Manufacturing in India

NEMMP 2020Aims to enable India’s global leadership in EV manufacturing and promote green transportation
FAMEProvides subsidies to manufacturers and buyers of electric vehicles
PLI SchemeAims to attract investments in battery manufacturing with an outlay of INR 18,100 crores
PMPEncourages the gradual localization of EV components

As indicated in Table 6, the government’s supportive policies play a crucial role in bolstering India’s battery manufacturing sector.


India’s electric vehicle journey is largely hinged on the progress and prowess of its battery manufacturing sector. The leading manufacturers are not just shaping the EV market, but they are also shaping India’s commitment towards a sustainable future. The current challenges notwithstanding, with robust government support and increasing investments, India is on the path to build a self-reliant and efficient battery manufacturing ecosystem.

Battery manufacturers are no longer just suppliers in the EV supply chain; they have emerged as critical stakeholders shaping the future of mobility in India. Their role extends beyond business interests, impacting environmental sustainability, energy security, and the economic landscape. With continued progress in this sector, India can look forward to a greener, more sustainable future marked by the hum of electric vehicles rather than the roar of fossil-fuel engines.

In the words of Thomas Edison, “The storage battery is, in my opinion, a catchpenny, a sensation, a mechanism for swindling the public by stock companies.” Today, we realize how batteries have evolved beyond Edison’s perception, proving themselves as crucial catalysts of change in our transition to cleaner and sustainable energy solutions.