South Korean firms team up with Indian battery firm

The Hyundai Group duo want domestic production to speed entry into the Indian electric market

South Korean firms team up with Indian battery firm
Mandar Deo, CEO of Excide Energy, attended the MoU's signing ceremony in South Korea

South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for strategic co-operation with Indian battery firm Exide Energy.

The two OEMs aim to localise their Indian EV battery production, with a focus on lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells, not a chemistry on which South Korea's largest battery firms have traditionally concentrated. Their intention is to position themselves “as the pioneers in applying domestically produced batteries in their upcoming EV models in the Indian market”.

“India is a key market for vehicle electrification due in part to the government’s carbon neutrality goals, which makes securing cost competitiveness through localised battery production crucial,” says Heui Won Yang, head of Hyundai and Kia’s R&D division. “Through this global partnership with Exide, we will gain a competitive advantage by equipping Hyundai and Kia’s future EV models in the Indian market with locally produced batteries.”

Excide is partnering with Svolt, the battery arm of Chinese OEM Great Wall Motors, to develop a gigafactory in Haraluru, Gujarat state, with a targeted start-up of GWh/yr of capacity by 2025-26. A doubling of capacity is planned in a second phase.

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This is part of a slew of planned Indian battery capacity additions in the coming years.

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