Indian automotive components manufacturer Lucas TVS has teamed up with U.S.-based 24M Technologies to manufacture semi-solid lithium-ion cells based on 24M’s technology in India. The two firms recently announced the signing of a license and servicing agreement to set up the cell giga-factories.
The first plant will be set up in Thervoy Kandigai, Gummudipundi, near Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Production at the Chennai plant is expected to start in the second half of 2023.
Lucas TVS plans to grow the capacity of the Chennai plant to a globally competitive scale of 10 GWh in two stages, according to a company statement. It also plans to build plants throughout India to support the growing energy storage, electric mobility, and lead-acid battery replacement markets.
Massachusetts-based 24M describes its SemiSolid manufacturing process as a simple, space-efficient, low-cost, modular approach to lithium-ion battery manufacturing. The process, designed around the use of standard lithium-ion supply chain materials, is likely to produce greater
than 50% capex savings versus conventional manufacturing lines.
The process, protected by more than 80 issued and 100 pending patents, enables the production of a thicker electrode, increasing energy density and reducing materials costs. Beyond its cost advantages, 24M’s patented cell design enhances safety, reliability, and traceability by virtually eliminating potential metal contamination, the most common cause of shorts in conventional lithium-ion cells. Additionally, the SemiSolid electrode eliminates the use of binders and thereby enables the simplest and most efficient recycling of rejected or end-of-life cells.
The SemiSolid platform provides innovative solutions to the fast-growing storage and electric mobility markets and the emerging lead-acid battery replacement markets. The U.S. firm is already planning large capacities in Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, Europe, and the United States. Lucas TVS will be the first to introduce SemiSolid lithium-ion batteries produced in India and specifically designed for the Indian market.
Lucas TVS plans to build products using different chemistries, in Pouch and Prismatic cell formats, with high energy density. The products will meet customer needs in e-mobility, stationary energy storage – including grid-scale markets – and lead-acid battery replacement. Lucas TVS will also offer complete battery solutions.
“Lucas TVS believes in investing in the next-generation technologies, which is why we chose to partner with 24M,” said T.K. Balaji, chairman and managing director of Lucas TVS. “We are confident that their innovative SemiSolid platform technology will enable us to provide our customers affordable e-mobility, lead-acid battery replacement, and storage solutions with improved quality and best-in-class safety.”
Naoki Ota, chief executive officer of 24M, said that the firm's SemiSolid technology and ongoing R&D investments will support plans by Lucas TVS to take the lead in the energy storage space for mobility, lead-acid battery replacement, storage and grid-scale markets in India.