Lohum to invest INR 1,000 cr in manganese-based battery production

Source : PTI | Lithium-ion battery pack manufacturer and recycling company Lohum on Wednesday announced it will invest INR 1,000 crore in the next three years to develop and manufacture manganese-based lithium-ion batteries. Further, the company said it has roped in Tesla veteran Chaitanya Sharma to help in the new project.

Sharma has worked at two of North America’s first gigafactories, Tesla and IM3NY, leading the latter as its CEO.

The development of the technology will be supported by a research and development grant from the Ministry of Mines, Lohum said.

Lohum plans to set up a capacity of over 20 GWh in the next three years with an investment of INR 1,000 crore, which will also fund related technology developments in the field, the company said.

The next-generation LMFP (Lithium Manganese Iron Phosphate) battery chemistry offers higher safety and gives EVs a longer range compared to conventional technologies, besides being significantly cheaper in cost, it said.

“Developing LMFP technology will enable Lohum to accelerate the energy transition by making available higher energy densities, increased cost-effectiveness, higher safety, sustainability, and thermal adaptability of batteries to climate change,” said Rajat Verma, Founder and CEO, Lohum.

LMFP will play a pivotal role in supporting India’s EV market and is a key stepping stone to India’s energy independence, he added.

Lohum is already the largest and only producer of conventional NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt)- based cathode active materials, the company said.

The company had also earlier signed an initial pact with the Tamil Nadu government to build an integrated recycling and cathode active material production facility in the state.

India has one of the largest reserves of manganese, the company said, adding that this move helps de-risk the lithium-ion battery supply chain in the country from external shocks and has implications for the country’s energy security, according to Lohum.