Karnataka Lithium Reserve to Drive Growth in EV Industry

Lithium being the gold in Electric Vehicles batteries, India had been struggling a lot to import
this precocious resource for fuelling up its electric vehicle future. Indian companies for the past
few years used to manufacture every component needed for an electric vehicle in here itself
except for the batteries, which were imported from countries like China. With new tax slabs and
import duties in place, these modes of trade created a larger price tag for electric vehicles in the
market. But this might take a turn for good as researchers of the Atomic Minerals Directorate
(sub-unit of Atomic Energy Commission) have found out a new lithium reserve.

The reserve was discovered in Mandya, Karnataka which is almost 100 Km away from the city
of Bengaluru. It has been estimated that the total lithium reserve would be around 14,000 tones
and the details regarding the same would be available for the public through the upcoming
science journal.
The primary research has concluded that a total of 30,000 tons of lithium oxide is spread across
an overall area of 2.5 sq. Km and out of which extractable lithium ore would scale up to 14,000
tones. Experts have also suggested that the discovery is not that big as compared to reserves in
other countries such as  Chile (8.6 Mn tonnes), Australia(2.8 Mn tonnes), Argentina(1.7Mn
Tones), but still would be a boost to the booming Indian electric vehicle industry. This might be
just the tip of the iceberg as it’s the first time a lithium ore has been discovered in India.
According to the industrial experts, it is high time India should pump in more resources to find
more such reserves.

Indian market has seen a surge in the imports of lithium-ion batteries and the numbers say it had
nearly tripled from USD 384 Mn to USD 1.2 Bn during the financial year 2017-2019. India
depends on Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile for its current imports which might turn out to be a
burden for EV buyers when the price is factored in.
With the recent improvement in the EV market, many of the big-time manufacturers are
investing in build a lithium-ion manufacturing plant in India. Suzuki Motors, Denso, Toshiba are
a few among them. While these plants would exclusively produce batteries for EV’s,
Smartphone industry giant Samsung is also planning to invest a total worth of INR 2,500 Cr for
lithium-ion battery production in India that would be utilized for their handheld gadgets