If you're tech enthusiast you must have heard of GigaFactory, a lithium-ion battery factory of Elon Musk's Tesla Inc., which is the biggest battery factory in the world. Now, in a latest development coming from Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh, Indian firm Munoth Industries is setting up of a Lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant, said to be the first in India, at an investment of ₹799 crore.

It is to be noted here that unlike Musk's Tesla, Munoth is NOT setting up a li-ion 'Battery' plant but cell plant. A cell is a basic electrochemical unit that contains the electrodes, separator, and electrolyte, and a battery on other hand is a collection of cells or cell assemblies. For example, electric vehicles use batteries and not cells.

The cell plant, which would target the mobile phone industry in the first phase, would come up in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The first phase of the project will be operational by March 2019 and the second and third phases by 2022.

In the first phase, Rs 165 crore will be invested to produce lithium ion cells having total storage capacity of 200,000 Ah (Ampere hour) per day, which will be available for assembly for mobile phone manufacturers from April 2019.

“As a core component shall be manufactured in India, the natural corollary of this will be that there will be an increase in the value addition of the battery pack and eventually the mobile handset. An ecosystem of SME start-ups around Lithium ion products will also be planned,” the Indian Cellular Association said while announcing the plans of the company.

The plant will have a capacity to produce cells having total power of around 1 million Ah per day, and will eventually provide employment to 1,700 people. Munoth has partnered with China's Better Power Company for the technology to manufacture lithium-ion cells in India.

Based out of Chennai, Munoth Industries was earlier involved in distribution of mobile phones, but is now focusing efforts on manufacturing Lithium-ion cell, according to its MD Vikas Munoth.

It may also be recalled that Indian space agency ISRO has recently offered to provide its in-house technology of producing lithium ion battery to startups and companies in India for Rs.1 crore in an non-exclusive rights.

Last year, Indian transport minister Nitin Gadkari visited Tesla manufacturing facility in the US and he invited Musk to open a Li-ion production facility in India. Tesla however didn't take India's offer much seriously and decided to stay away from manufacturing in India.

Besides, Mumbai-based Gegadyne is one of few Indian startups dealing with rechargeable battery tech. The startup thas patent pending battery technology which will enable to recharge batteries in a rapid manner without the need for fast charging. The startup also touts itself as India's Indigenously Developed Fully Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage System. The startup had raised undisclosed amount of funding from Mumbai Angels Network, in February this year.

Also, Google's parent Alphabet, under project name “Malta", is also secretively brainstorming and developing a new and innovative way to store renewable energy that otherwise might have gone wasted. They're doing so by making use of salt and antifreeze.

Via - ET Telecom | The Hindu

[Top Image - Youthincmag.com]

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