India is all ready to invest $4 billion in setting up four ‘Tesla Gigafactory India’ styled battery storage plants. The inspiration for setting up a huge battery manufacturing and storage plant is obviously taken from Tesla Gigafactory located in Nevada, USA.
Tesla has begun work on its latest Gigafactory in Shanghai, China as well. Currently, there are no indigenous battery manufacturers in India. Almost all of the electric lithium-ion batteries are imported from China. The upcoming four Tesla-inspired Gigafactories in India seek to address that problem.
Tesla Gigafactories In India For Affordable EV Manufacturing
The plan to install four Tesla Scale Gigafactories seeks to address two main issues, according to NITI Aayog (a government-owned think-tank):
- Reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil
- To secure India’s future energy needs and reduce pollution
Each Tesla-inspired Gigafactory in India will have a capacity of 10 Gigawatt hours (GWh). The factories will focus on R&D, manufacturing, and storage of huge electric batteries.
Reducing Dependence On Foreign Oil
India currently consumes a major chunk of foreign oil. Around 84% of India’s oil needs are fulfilled through foreign imports. The Government seeks to bring down this number in the future and reduce its reliance on outside powers.
In other nations, Australia also suffers from a similar, albeit slightly varied, problem. In Australia, several oil refineries were shut down in recent years, hence the Government is planning on doubling down on electric vehicle supportive infrastructure to meet its energy demands.
India is in a slightly better condition than Australia, as several refineries in the country are alive and working well. However, the problem of air pollution plagues the entire nation and it could cause billions of dollars to its economy.
Securing Future Needs And Reducing Pollution
India, as of now, is home to the top 10 of the world’s most polluted cities. Hence it is no surprise that the government has rolled up its sleeves and is doubling down on reducing air-pollution before any major catastrophe strikes.
As of January 2019, India has been producing 75Gw of renewable energy which is 22% of its total energy production. The country plans to add a total of 100Gw renewable energy capacity in 10 years.
The upcoming Tesla-inspired Gigafactory in India will directly benefit this process by enabling the storage of excess renewable energy and accelerating the R&D of EV battery technology in India.
As of right now, India only sells one SUV named Hyundai Kona as a commercially available electric car. However, it is priced at a premium of Rs 25 lakh, which is way more than several middle-class families can afford.
One of the main reasons why Hyundai Kona is so expensive is due to the lack of a local supply chain for electric car manufacturers. Hyundai has recently decided to tackle this problem by investing Rs 2,000 crore in setting up local manufacturing facilities for electric cars.
The upcoming Indian battery factories will further help in this case by supplying cheaply made electric batteries to make electric cars more affordable.
During the recent union budget, the Indian Government has given a lot of incentives to buyers and makers of electric cars. Not only that, but the Government is also planning on reducing road tax on electric vehicles to propagate their demand into the mainstream market as much as possible.
A number of Indian auto manufacturers are currently actively working on electric cars. However, Tesla-inspired Gigafactories in India will ultimately be the final push where the automotive manufacturers would have to completely switch to electric cars.