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Indian Oil ties up with Panasonic for lithium-ion battery foray, feasibility study underway

The two companies signed a binding term sheet in the presence of S M Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil (extreme left), and Kazuo Tadanobu, President and CEO of Panasonic Energy (extreme right). Image: Indian Oil

Indian Oil and Panasonic Energy Co Ltd, the battery arm of Japan's Panasonic group, have signed a binding term sheet to set up a joint venture unit manufacturing cylindrical lithium-ion cells in India.

The term sheet was signed in the presence of S M Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil, and Kazuo Tadanobu, President and CEO of Panasonic Energy.

The batteries will primarily be aimed at the electric two- and three-wheeler markets as well as battery energy storage systems (BESS), Indian Oil said in a release. The two companies are currently engaged in a feasibility study to determine battery technology and are likely to finalize details of their collaboration within the next few months.

The local manufacturing unit will help support a complete supply chain ecosystem, thus strengthening India's domestic clean energy capabilities. It will also boost domestic value addition, help create demand for raw materials and attract interest in highly efficient cell technologies at the time when Indian giga factories are preparing to come on stream.

Panasonic, which runs giga factories in America and is a battery supplier to Tesla, has shown interest in the Indian market in the past, with Tadanobu holding talks with Indian government officials on the Performance Linked Incentives scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC-PLI).

Indian Oil, the country's largest oil company, aims to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2046, aligning with the Indian government's goal to make the country carbon neutral by 2070. 

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