Maruti gets electric push as Suzuki invests in lithium ion batteries plant in Gujarat

 BT Online        Last Updated: September 15, 2017  | 19:01 IST
Maruti gets electric push as Suzuki investes in lithium ion batteries plant in Gujarat

Suzuki Motor Corp, the Japanese parent of India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Thursday said it would invest Rs 1,150 crore for a new unit to produce lithium ion batteries in Gujarat.

Suzuki along with two manufacturers Toshiba and Denso will also invest around Rs 1,150 crore for a new unit to produce lithium ion batteries which will be operational by 2020.

According to a report in TOI, Suzuki Motor has decided to make electric cars at its factory in Gujarat. Suzuki will also manufacture electric cars for world markets.

Suzuki will set up a lithium-ion battery factory that will power electric, hybrid cars using clean fuel technology. Denso, owned by Toyota, will provide the technology, while Toshiba will chip in with cell modules, it said.

The three Japanese entities inked an agreement to form a joint venture to tap growing popularity for electric vehicles in India and supply lithium-ion battery packs in the country.

Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) Chairman Osamu Suzuki said the company will invest Rs 3,800 crore on the third plant which will have a production capacity of 2.5 lakh units annually. The Hansalpur-based plant is Suzuki Motor Corp's first wholly-owned unit in India.

It is expected that the batteries will be used to power Maruti and Suzuki's electric vehicles, some of which could be all-new ones, while others will be clean-fuel variants of existing petrol/diesel models.

The new investment in enhancing capacity of the Hansalpur plant will take the company's total investment in the facility to around Rs 13,400 crore, where it has already put in Rs 9,600 crore on two plants along with another engine and transmission production unit.

When the third plant starts functioning fully, the SMC's Gujarat plant will have a total capacity of 7.5 lakh units per annum. He, however, did not elaborate on the time for commissioning of the third plant.

The first two plants also have capacity of 2.5 lakh units per annum, while the engine and transmission unit has a capacity to produce 5 lakh units a year.

The overall production capacity of SMC along with its Indian arm, Maruti Suzuki's two plants in Haryana will increase to 22.5 lakh units annually.

Currently, the first plant at Hansalpur produces premium hatchback Baleno. The second plant along with the engine and transmission units is expected to go on stream in 2019.

He said with the new investment, the company's Hansalpur facility will will help in generating employment for 10,000 people, including suppliers.

"We will also construct a hospital and school near Hanslapur facility," he added.

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