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JSW Group, which is setting up a Rs 4,000-crore electric vehicle (EV) plant in Gujarat, is likely to partner with Chinese multinational automotive giant Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd for the project. A formal announcement regarding this is expected around December. According to sources, the joint venture (JV) is likely to be a 50:50 one. A mail sent to JSW remained unanswered.
In the last week of September, JSW Energy, part of the Sajjan Jindal-led Jindal Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government to set up a Rs 4,000-crore electric vehicle-manufacturing facility in the state that will have a capacity to make 200,000 EVs per year in the initial stages. The capacity is likely to be ramped up to 500,000 units in the subsequent phases, said state government officials.
The plant would not only make EVs but also manufacture batteries, electric storage solutions and charging infrastructure. Sources indicated that the JV would look at making premium EVs (priced above Rs 12-15 lakh) and not mass market cars for the Indian market.
The car has been designed with a very simple engine and was expected to have minimal wear and tear. “It is expected to give a mileage of 7 km per unit of power. Assuming power cost to be around Rs 7 per unit, the cost of running the car would be Re 1 per km,” a source said.
The proposed investment by the JV is around $1 billion or so. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group would be the technology partner for the project. JSW has been in talks with Geely for a while now. Headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is a multinational automotive behemoth that owns Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, Volvo Car Group and the London Taxi Company.
For a non-automobile firm like JSW, it is an imperative to partner with a major technology provider like Geely. China is also one of the largest EV markets in the world.
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