Exide Industries Ltd on Saturday said its JV plant, which will will focus on e-transport and fleet vehicles, with Switzerland-based Leclanché SA in Gujarat will be operational by December.

Last week, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh had told that "A big company will announce investment" in Dholera (near Ahmedabad) in lithium-ion batteries manufacturing for Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Exide, which is the largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries in India and 4th largest in the world, had last year entered into a joint venture (JV) with the Leclanché for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

"About Rs 100 crore has so far been invested in the facility and an equal amount will be pumped in within March," Exide Industries MD and CEO G Chatterjee told reporters here.

He said the JV is initially for installing three assembly lines in the facility for manufacturing different types of products. Of the three, a battery pack assembly line is expected to be operational by the third quarter of the 2019-20 fiscal.

"Two other assembly lines will be ready by March," Chatterjee said on the sidelines of the company's 72nd annual general meeting.

Last week, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, announced the game plan for electric vehicles and its components like batteries to ensure clean cities, reduce imports and utilise solar power.

Leclanché SA, which is a 100+ years old company of Switzerland, evolved from a traditional battery manufacturer to become a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion cells. The swiss firm listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LECN) has production facilities in Willstätt, Germany, and in 2017, the company announced a trial to install energy storage batteries at sites owned by Dutch charging station operator Fastned.

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