Automotive electrical components manufacturer Lucas TVS and U.S.-based 24M Technologies plan to set up a ₹25 billion (~$342.33 million) gigafactory near Chennai to manufacture innovative and disruptive lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells based on SemiSolid platform technology.
The first plant will be set up in Thervoy Kandigai, Gummudipundi near Chennai, and Lucas TVS is expected to build other plants throughout India to support the growing energy storage, electric mobility, and lead-acid battery replacement markets.
Lucas TVS plans to grow the plant’s capacity to a globally competitive scale of 10 GWh in two stages. The Chennai plant is expected to begin commercial production in the second half of 2023.
Lucas TVS has plans to build products using different chemistries, including ‘pouch’ and ‘prismatic’ cell formats, with high energy density. The products will meet customer needs in e-mobility, stationary energy storage, including grid-scale markets, replacing lead-acid batteries.
Meanwhile, 24M maintains that its trademarked ‘SemiSolid’ platform has significant benefits compared to conventional manufacturing processes. The technology, protected by more than 80 issued and 100 pending patents, offers a significantly simpler process flow reducing capital costs substantially.
According to 24M, its technology delivers a thicker electrode, increasing energy density and reducing materials costs. Apart from the cost advantages, the patented cell design is said to enhance safety, reliability, and traceability by virtually eliminating potential metal contamination, the most common cause of short circuits in conventional lithium-ion cells.
In addition to these benefits, the ‘SemiSolid’ electrode eliminates binders and enables the simplest and most efficient recycling of rejected or end-of-life cells.
Chief managing director of Lucas TVS, T K Balaji, said, “We believe in investing in next-generation technologies, which is why we chose to partner 24M. We are confident that their innovative technology will enable us to provide our customers affordable e-mobility, lead-acid battery replacement, and storage solutions with improved quality and best-in-class safety.”
Chief executive officer of 24M, Naoki Ota said, “Our innovative SemiSolid™ technology and ongoing research and development (R&D) investments will support Lucas TVS’s ambition to become a leader in the energy storage space for mobility, lead-acid battery replacement, storage, and grid-scale markets in India.”
Earlier this year, U.S.-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer Barrel Energy had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyderabad-based Roshan Energy Technologies to develop and manufacture lithium-ion batteries in India and North America.
In March 2020, United States-based XNRGI announced that the company had opened a high-temperature lithium-ion battery factory in Gurugram, India. The facility has 240 MWh of battery production capacity.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.