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Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra and Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem signed a deal to collaborate in the field of advanced lithium-ion power storage technology.LG Chem will develop a unique cell exclusively for India application and also supply Li-ion batteries based on NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) chemistry with high energy density.
These cells will be deployed in the Mahindra and SsangYong range of electric vehicles. LG Chem will also design Li-ion battery modules for Mahindra Electric, which, in turn, will create battery packs for the Mahindra Group and other customers, Mahindra & Mahindra said in a statement.
“This association with LG Chem will give Mahindra the requisite access to advanced battery technology and will also enable us to deliver globally competitive products,” said Hemant Sikka, Mahindra’s president chief purchase officer.
Mahindra recently committed a fresh investment of 900 crore in its electric vehicle business. The company will be spending 400 crore at its research and development set up in Bengaluru and another 500 crore at Chakan in Maharashtra for localising some of the EV components.
In keeping with the investment plan announced last year, a battery module plant is also under development. It will have the capacity to make half a million battery modules a year. It will also house a battery module pack line. The entire facility, for both module and pack, is expected to go into production in the last quarter of fiscal 2020.
Mahindra is likely to invest 3,500-4,000 crore cumulatively in the EV business in the next 3-5 years. The intent is not only to drive and lead the EV market in India, but also to act as a supplier of components. To that end, the company is on the lookout for a joint venture partner, apart from infusing money for half a dozen EV vehicles lined up for the coming years.
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