Toshiba India has expressed interest in collaborating with the State’s PSUs and transferring technology for the manufacturing of Lithium-ion based batteries
Thiuvananthapuram: In what could be regarded as a major initiative to encourage the transition to E-vehicles in Kerala, the State Government recently signed an Expression of Interest (EoI) with Japanese manufacturer Toshiba Group for the technology transfer of Lithium-ion-based batteries.
The signing of the EoI also paves the way for the possible re-entry of Toshiba Group into Kerala. The EoI letter from Tomohiko Okada, Managing Director, Toshiba India to Kerala Industries Department was released at the Kerala State Industries Promotion Seminar which was organised by the Government of India and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
According to E P Jayarajan, Minister for Industries, the company representatives in a subsequent meeting with Pinarayi Vijayan, the State Chief Minister, expressed interest to collaborate with the State Government.
Jayarajan further added that Toshiba has agreed to transfer the technology based on Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) to the State’s public sector undertakings (PSU).
“A key objective of the State Government is to turn Kerala into the manufacturing hub of E-vehicles in the country. Earlier, in August this year, representatives of Toshiba Group expressed satisfaction at the quality of infrastructure after visiting the plants of Kerala Automobile Limited (KAL) and Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering (KEL),” said the Industries Minister.
Another objective behind the agreement is to commence R&D operations of Li-ion-based battery in Kerala. It is also learned that the Government is mulling the possibility of starting a Joint Venture company for manufacturing batteries required for powering electric buses.
In its earlier avatar, Toshiba had set up a production facility for electric bulbs and batteries at Athani and Kalamaserry in the early 1970s as a collaborative venture under the name Toshiba-Anand. However, the facilities were later closed down in 1996 reportedly following problems related to the adoption of new technologies. As a result, the battery manufacturing unit of Toshiba-Anand was later referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).
The proposed collaboration with Japanese company comes against the backdrop of the State Government’s vision to launch 10 lakh E-vehicles in Kerala by 2022.