International Battery Company (IBC) has signed an investment contract with the government of Karnataka, seeking to invest around $971.89 million (₹8000 crore) to set up a recyclable lithium-ion battery manufacturing unit in the southern state of the country.

MB Patil, Minister for Commerce & Industries, Infrastructure, announced the development in a post on X, revealing that the upcoming manufacturing facility will be dedicated to the production of lithium-ion cells. The facility is set to be spread across 100 acres in the state, and will commence production of the cells by 2025. Once the facility is set up, it will be the second facility in the state that is dedicated to the manufacturing of lithium-ion cells.

“Proud moment for Karnataka as IBC and the Government of Karnataka join hands with an MOU signing for a groundbreaking investment of Rs. 8,000 Cr to establish a cutting-edge Advanced Battery Manufacturing Facility. Spanning across a sprawling 100 acres in the state, this venture promises to revolutionize the energy storage landscape,” his tweet read.

This investment by IBC is not an unexpected one – in June, the company was engaged in talks with the state officials to pledge a major investment in battery production. Patil, at that time, had announced the same in a tweet.

For those who are unaware, lithium-ion cells have emerged as a cornerstone technology in the renewable energy market. The technology has gained increased significance for India, which recently discovered some of the largest reserves of the precious lithium in Jammu and Kashmir and then in Rajasthan. Li-Ion not only reduces the intermittency of certain clean energy sources, but they also provide a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels, while providing a reliable means to store surplus energy during peak generation periods and release it when demand rises or during low-energy production phases. The energy is stored and released as lithium ions travel between the electrodes through the electrolyte.

The setting up of the new manufacturing facility in Karnataka thus marks a significant development for the energy storage solutions industry and the renewable energy market, particularly in the realm of lithium-ion cell production. IBC currently intends to increase the capacity of the new facility to 10 gigawatts by 2028, and comes even as its pilot plant in Korea is on the verge of completion. There, the first set of test batteries are ready to be tested by potential customers.

Once the facility is established in the state, it is likely to spur economic growth in the region. It can also generate a significant number of employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled workers, contributing to the state’s overall socio-economic development. With IBC bringing advanced technologies and manufacturing processes to India’s battery industry, it is also likely that we will witness innovation, research, and development in the sector, while the renewable energy market in India gets a boost.

As the country seeks to reduce its carbon footprint and transition to electric vehicles (EVs) on a larger scale, locally manufactured batteries become pivotal to support the growth of the EV ecosystem. The investment by IBC presents an opportunity to enhance domestic battery production, reduce dependency on imports, and contribute to the nation’s ambitious clean energy targets, and it will be interesting to see whether these objectives are met.