Gurgaon-based Napino Auto & Electronics, one of India’s leading automotive suppliers with expertise in the electrical and electronics domain, is plotting bigger play in the nascent Indian EV industry. The company has signed an agreement with California-incepted and China-headquartered Farasis Energy to manufacture lithium-ion battery packs for two- and three-wheelers in India. Farasis Energy is said to be among the leading lithium-ion battery cell and pack manufacturers, and claimed to be among the top 3 players in China (in volume terms) in the segment.
Foreseeing demand and interest for electric two- and three-wheelers in India, Napino Auto had been in talks with Farasis Energy since January 2019. According to Naveen Kumar, CEO, Napino Auto and Electronics said, "Our partnership with Farasis Energy comes in at the right time with the government’s push to promote faster adoption of EVs. The manufacturing of battery packs is an integral part of our e-mobility strategy."
Speaking with Autocar Professional, Kumar said, "Globally, the cost of lithium-ion battery packs is averaging around $170 per kWh (around Rs 11,720). With mass-manufacturing, we expect the cost to come down to $120-130 per kWh (Rs 8,280 to 9,000) in the near future."
Meanwhile, Napino Auto has started talks with its two- and three-wheeler customers, where the company sees a foreseeable pick-up in demand. In fact, sharing his view on the push towards electrification, Kumar says: "For the electrification of the two-wheeler segment, the industry should sell vehicles without the battery, which will make the price of e2Ws attractive. The lithium-ion battery could be given on a pay-per-use model, which will enable a wider acceptance and become financially attractive for customers."
In terms of manufacturing for the alliance, which will require a new setup, Kumar says at present Napino Auto is still exploring the site for the plant, which would be most likely be in the NCR region. But given the push by Southern states, Kumar does not rule out the possibility of having a new facility outside its home region.
He is optimistic that the alliance will help Napino Auto to be a leading provider of safe, reliable and high energy battery packs for the Indian market. "We are very optimistic about the success of our collaboration with Farasis Energy which will support us to localise cutting-edge lithium-ion battery pack technology for our customers.”
As part of the collaboration, Napino and Farasis shall jointly develop the business in India, wherein Napino will bring its automotive experience in mass production and strong supply chain to provide an optimal solution for the Indian market.
Thanh Nguyen, vice-president, sales and marketing, Farasis Energy said, "We are very excited about the partnership with Napino for providing battery packs for EVs. Given the huge potential offered by the Indian market, we foresee that India will become one of the largest e-mobility markets in the world. This strategic collaboration will enable us to access this fast growing market."
In 2017 Farasis Energy received an order for supply of 1 million battery packs over five years to China's BAIC and also a technology contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a collaborative organisation of FCA US, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, amounting to $1.76 million (Rs 12 crore) for lithium-ion battery recycling.
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