JSW Energy To Launch Electric Vehicles In India By 2020; Promises $624 Mn Investment

Mumbai-headquartered JSW Energy, a division of Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group, has announced plans to launch electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020. In line with the company’s “Make in India and Make for India” vision, the initiative is a means for JSW Energy to venture into emerging verticals, including energy storage and charging infrastructure.

To diversify its business operations into EVs and renewable energy storage, the company has committed $545.72 Mn-$623.68 Mn (INR 3,500 Cr-INR 4,000 Cr) for the next three years.

Commenting on the development, JSW Energy Joint MD and CEO Prashant Jain stated, “We have been seeing very limited space for growth in the power sector. We will start with around 60 per cent localisation in India. We are considering and evaluating opportunities for setting up a manufacturing facility in several States, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, and also Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.”

The country’s automobile industry is headed towards large-scale reformation as a result of the arrival of disruptive technologies like electric vehicles, renewable energy, and zero-emission hydrogen fuel. To take advantage of these emergent technologies, JSW Energy is looking to build electric vehicles that cater to the needs of Indian customers, and are also suitable to Indian conditions.

To that end, the company is already in talks with a number of leading technology partners, whose names have not yet been disclosed.

Aimed at faster penetration of electric vehicles in India, the newly-announced initiative will also entail the creation of a pervasive network of electric charging stations across the country. Furthermore, JSW Energy is poised to enter the energy storage systems business for static as well as mobile applications, such as micro grids, telecom, power banks, and solar storage systems for households.

According to Jain, the new ventures will be supplemental to JSW Energy’s core business, which focusses chiefly on power generation, transmission, and trading. Currently boasting a total operational capacity of 4,531 MW, the company is planning to optimise its thermal and hydro facilities through long- and short-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with state-run electricity distributions entities.

Out of its 1,200 MW hydro capacity, only around 376 MW is tied up with PPAs. Overall, about 65% of JSW’s thermal capacity is connected to PPA. Jain added, “Our long-term PPA portfolio, which is currently two -hirds of the capacity, will increase to three-fourth in the next six months.”

According to a report by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, there has been a 37.5% rise in the sale of EVs in India. The segment has also been garnering traction from investors in recent years. In October 2016, Bengaluru-based startup Ather Energy raised about $27 Mn (INR 180 Cr) investment from Hero MotoCorp against 26%-30% stake. In May 2017, ION Energy secured funding from the founders of OMC power, Nippo Batteries, and others.

By foraying into emerging verticals like electric vehicles and energy storage, JSW Energy is likely looking to bolster revenue and cut losses.

For electric cars to take off, they'll need place to charge

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