Nissan plans to produce electric vehicles in India, conducts feasibility study
Nissan Motor is planning to manufacture electric cars and produce EV batteries in India. The day its global unit announced a massive one billion pound (roughly converted to ₹1.02 lakh crore) investment in United Kingdom to set up an electric vehicle manufacturing hub, the Japanese carmaker is also looking at India for similar venture.
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Ashwani Gupta, Chief Operating Officer at Nissan, said that the carmaker is conducting a feasibility study to manufacture electric vehicles in India for Indian customers as well as foreign countries, and set up an EV battery manufacturing unit as well. The ongoing feasibility study is likely to be completed in the next nine months.
Gupta said, "What we are studying today are the three things. One is the car manufacturing, but the most important second thing is the battery manufacturing. If the battery is an integral part of the car manufacturing, we need to have battery and car together in terms of industrialisation".
During a virtual conference, Gupta said the carmaker is also keeping a close eye on the charging infrastructure in India. "So, these are the three things which we are studying today. And I think India has got the great opportunity to address all the three things and the moment we will be realising that study, we will decide what to do about electrification in India," he said.
According to Gupta, India needs to stop depending to EV imports to make the industry successful and look to produce electric cars locally. "India should do the electric car right from zero, fully localised... The battery technology is so important in electric cars. And if India gets the competitiveness on battery technology, then I think India becomes a global hub for the electric car export," Gupta said.
Gupta added, "You need to have proper infrastructure to manufacture batteries because of the safety, high voltage current and so on. So at minimum, we have to put in a gigawatt. Obviously, we need those kinds of volume."
Nissan also said that is not yet considering electric vehicles for the Indian market yet. Gupta said, "If we are coming up with an electric car in India, only domestic (demand) will not help us because of the economy of scale. And definitely we will have to explore the opportunity for export."
Nissan may also consider bringing in its mini electric cars called Kei, which the carmaker has developed in partnership with Mitsubishi in Japan. The mini electric commercial vehicles could be used as last mile delivery solution.