India’s largest battery maker, Exide, will tie up with China’s SVOLT Energy Technology Ltd. to manufacture li-ion batteries for EVs, and the deal is a part of a multi-year plan for Exide to step up its battery manufacturing capabilities. Its board has okayed a greenfield manufacturing facility for the deal that will produce several gigawatts worth of the batteries every year, and the deal is Exide’s second foray into the space after its joint venture with Leclanché SA of Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Reliance New Energy will acquire the entire battery manufacturing portfolio of Netherlands-based Lithium Werks, which manufactures cobalt-free li-ion EV batteries. The deal is reportedly worth $61 million and will include the company’s manufacturing facility in China.
Yulu to expand its battery-as-a-service setup to 100,000 units
India’s first battery-as-a-service (BaaS) operator, Yulu, will reportedly expand its Max network of battery swapping stations to 10 cities. Currently based in Bangalore and backed by automotive giant Bajaj, the operator provides a network of battery swapping stations and has completed 3 million swaps so far. It also plans to expand its fleet of vehicles that provide the service from 10,000 units at the moment to 100,000 units by the end of 2022.
Russia-Ukraine conflict ups nickel prices by a staggering 320%
The military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused a meteoric rise in the price of Nickel (a key component of EV batteries) — so much so that the input prices for popular electric vehicles (such as Tesla cars) may go up by as much as $1000 in the short term. Russia is a key producer of nickel but the country is currently under immense global sanctions, which has greatly constricted the supply of the metal and even pushed the price of the metal to as high as $101,000 tonnes last week. Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, the metal has gained 320% in per ton prices.
US: Joe Manchin sows further doubt about government’s investment in EVs
Democrat senator Joe Manchin sowed even more doubt about the Biden government’s funding for EVs and EV chargers as he said that it would result in the country having to “wait in line” for batteries from China. The senator holds the key swing vote in the US senate and has repeatedly criticised Joe Biden’s climate plans and his bills to move the country away from ICE vehicles. Manchin also said that Henry Ford built the Model T (America’s first mass-produced car) but not the gas stations — the market did. The comments come at a time when gasoline prices in the US have surged to up to $4.30/gallon, which has led to sharp increase in the demand (and interest) in EVs.