In India, Japanese companies Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso are building a battery cell factory for electric vehicles in Gujarat. The Automotive Electronics Power Pvt. Ltd (AEPPL) joint venture was established for this purpose and is owned 50 per cent by Suzuki, 40 per cent by Toshiba and ten per cent by Denso. The JV is now entering in the second phase of the battery venture.
According to the news site Livemint with reference to a confidential internal company presentation, the three companies initially invested 12.14 trillion Indian rupees (around 152 million euros) in the Hansalpur plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat, in order to launch the first production phase from the end of 2020. Between 2021 and 2025, a further 37 trillion Indian rupees (around 465 million euros) are planned for further expansion, which should bring the plant to an annual capacity of more than 1 GWh. However, the company’s presentation maintains that the second expansion phase will only take place if the Indian government introduces stable subsidy instruments for electric cars.
“There are a couple of missing links in Fame 2. We don’t know what happens after three years. Secondly, Fame 2 does not support electric cars meant for personal applications,” Livemint cited a top executive at a ‘leading car company‘, who requested anonymity.
It also states that the assembly line currently under construction will potentially be followed by up to four more production lines. The project could create around 1,000 jobs by 2025. The locally produced battery cells are apparently to be used not only for electric and hybrid cars but also for electric two-wheelers. Against this background, the Suzuki subsidiary Suzuki Motorcycle India is reportedly already developing the prototype of an electric scooter for India.
Japan’s car and supplier industry have been utilising the power of cooperation instead of competition for some time now. Several OEMs are involved in the joint venture called EV Common Architecture Spirit. The aim is to jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles. Founded in 2017 by Toyota, Mazda and Denso, Suzuki, Subaru, these companies were joined by Hino and Daihatsu shortly afterwards.
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