Hero Electric Signs MOU With Electrovaya for Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturing

December 09, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Hero Electric, 100% subsidiary of Hero Group, described as the leader in the electric two-wheeler category in India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Canada-based battery maker, Electrovaya, to set up a joint venture company to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in the country. Apart from utilizing these batteries for its own products, it will also be supplied to other domestic EV manufacturers. The specifics of the deal will , however, be finalized in about a month’s time.

Commenting on the occasion, Naveen Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Electric said, "We have signed an MoU with Electrovaya today, which will ultimately become a JV, but it will take six weeks to decide everything about the new company. We will set up a manufacturing plant for lithium-ion batteries through this JV. The lead acid batteries have limitations like need for frequent re-charging, shorter lifespan and so on. In contrast, the lithium ion batteries have the potential to revolutionise the electric vehicle (EV) market."

He also mentioned, "While a lead acid battery can run a scooter up to only 25-30 kilometre in one charge, the lithium ion one last much longer. This makes it more effective."

He added that lithium ion batteries can be recharged up to 1,800 times, thus giving them a lifespan of around five years, as compared to 300-odd times for lead acid batteries. When quizzed about the possible location, He said, "We are scouting for a land to set up a plant somewhere in the northern region of the country, where it could also get some tax benefits from the state. The plant will manufacture lithium-ion batteries with the technical help from Electrovaya for both the domestic and export market."

Electrovaya Chief Executive Officer Sankar Das Gupta said, "The main purpose of the partnership was to accelerate clean transportation as a commercial reality with its advanced power systems for all classes of zero-emission electric vehicles. The JV with Hero Electric will certainly boost this effort in India and both the companies would work on moving from lead acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries."