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Panasonic plans to build a battery plant in India under the PLI scheme

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Days after Elon Musk’s Tesla started talks with the Indian government about setting up a car factory to manufacture electric vehicles, Panasonic, the company which supplies batteries to Tesla also plans to open a plant in India to manufacture batteries under the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for advanced chemistry cell battery storage.

This development follows meetings between the senior representatives of the Japanese company and the Indian government. Kazuo Tadanobu, global president of Panasonic Energy came and met former Niti Aayog CEO and G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, apart from heavy industries secretary Kamran Rizvi. Panasonic life solutions chairman Manish Sharma along with senior Japanese officials from Panasonic Energy also accompanied Kazuo Tadanobu in his meetings.

The company told the government about its plans to consider India to set up a plant to manufacture batteries, while the government briefed them about available schemes. This has led to Panasonic being very close to making a significant investment in India.

The government in March had selected four companies for the 18,100 crore PLI scheme for ACC battery storage. However, Hyundai Global Motors which was allotted a benefit of 20GWh capacity pulled out of the scheme. It is believed that Panasonic will now be passed on the same benefits if the government reopens the window. There is however no confirmation as of now on this.

Panasonic is eyeing to supply not only to the upcoming Tesla plant in India, but also to companies such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and even the Volkswagen group, which are aggressively expanding their electric fleet in India.

“The government had also briefed the Panasonic team about the bullish business potential in India for automotive batteries, and said that it should be ready to invest in India, with or without Tesla’s investments,” said one of the sources for Times of India.

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