Does that mean Exide has an edge over Amara Raja? Also, does Amara Raja has any foreign technical partner like Exide has Svolt?
The battery market will become fragmented in years to come. Exide and Amara Raja have enjoyed the concentrated market for far too long. Two more established players, but not into auto segment yet, but the revamped websites show the upcoming possiblity of shift.
Scuttlebutt#1 – Lithium Cell/Battery space in India -
with Deb Mukherji
It’s early days in the EV revolution in India.
But its clear that its being largely driven by EV 2W, and then by EV 3W
2W EV Sales FY23 at 7.28L, FY24 (Apr-Nov) at 4.87L
3W EV Sales FY23 at 4.02L, FY24 (Apr-Nov) at 3.64L
4W EV Sales FY23 at 48105, FY 24 (Apr-Nov) at 53109
Electric Bus Sales FY23 at 1917, FY 24 (Apr-Nov) at 1547
EV Trucks – tech yet to mature –Tata Ace going on
FY23 EV drivers in India clearly are 2W (62%), 3W (34%)
Can you please talk about the Opportunities in the EV Space
If we start talking about Batteries, there are 3 aspects to look at – Technology, Product, Market
Started with Chinese Imports, low end products.
Technology is Lithium-Ion based. There is LFP and NMC
LFP has proven to be the more preferred route, because of better thermal management and is
Within the Technology space, there is the Cell, Battery Pack, and Battery Management System (BMS). As compared to the earlier Lead Acid days, BMS is the additional component, which is the making of Smart Batteries. There is the need of tracking and thermal management at each cell level. There is the electrical component and additional electronics for being IT-connected, then there is additional recycling requirements coming in. For the first time OEMs are being made responsible for tracking and recycling (EPR) Extended Producer Responsibility already in-force in EU. Blockchain and AI functionality will be increasingly in use.
Tier 1 Suppliers like Bosch are introducing Concepts like Battery in the Cloud where battery - temp, charging, discharging, abnormal behaviour at cell level – all will be monitored in the cloud
What about the PLI scheme by GOI? Since allocations are pretty low 5GW for Reliance, and many others with mega plans announced , Is it a fair argument that much of the Cell Tech investments may be driven outside of PLI ?
If you read the fine-print, at the Cell level the outlined policy has become very complicated.
With Cell Life at 2000 cycles, if energy density in product is 100KWh/kg, then there is a 10% incentive. If energy density is 200KWh/kg, incentive is at 20%; Chinese with their decades-plus experience in cell technology are at 70-80KWh/kg!
Incentives are graded in like 50, 100, 200, 275, and 350 KWh/kg; Something that even a Tesla doesn’t have today!
What is the road ahead for Cell tech players in India?
CATL and BYD control 60% of market. Then there are the Koreans like LGES, SKON, and the Japanese like Panasonic. As per my discussions it took someone like CATL 7-9 years to mature Cell technology for commercial scale. For Cell Manufacturers there are both supply chain challenges (RM side), and technology maturing challenges to surmount.
Cell Manufacturers in India have a long grind ahead. As an example, Exide with Lachlange technology, even today are yet to start serial supplies for battery packs. Even with SVOLT technology this is a 8-10 years play ahead.
Besides Market has not matured. There are alternative technologies like Sodium-Ion, even Hydrogen Fuels being tried out.
Maruti-Denso-Panasonic had started a plant in Gujarat. Already been 4 years, and they are talking of launching only by 2030/31 onwards
This is a big-boys game as we know it’s capital intensive and lot of risks need to be taken before maturing the supply chain and technology. The 1st Gwh takes something like $300Mn investment, subsequent 1GWh takes $100 Mn.
So yes Maruti, battery majors like Exide, Amara Raja, and Reliance are likely to persist. Ola is a disruptor and has raised funds, they will be willing to take the risks, have to show results for investors.
Chinese are risk takers. There are more than 10,000 companies in the EV space. They are expanding at a brisk pace. By 2035 they have plans to reach 1600 GWh. The bigger players will NOT talk to anyone with less than 125 Gwh ambitions in India. There are other mid-tier companies like Tenpower, SVOLT and many others.
What about smaller Indian players like Log9?
They have gone ahead with a lithium technology called LTO. This is good for low requirements and fast charging and can support like 10000 cycles. But the battery is very heavy and bulky. Its use is mainly for Storage technology (ESS).
The fact is no one else has gone in for LTO Technology in Cell Manufacturing.
What about other Opportunities in battery space?
There are 4 stages in battery life – manufacturing, charging, 2nd life, and recyclability
Battery Packs, Charging Infrastructure where companies like Amara Raja, Exicom, and 4cpower are getting established (https://www.forseepower.com/) are good players. Good quality Cells have second-life opportunities too in household (3kw, 5Kw) and other chargers. Recycling is another big opportunity.
Batteries by themselves are probably a bigger opportunity than EVs. This is like a $100Bn opportunity, as there is also the replacement cycle every few years. Storage as a Market is another very big opportunity.
Would be correct to say that the low-hanging fruits in the EV space therefore are in Battery Packs and Charging Infrastructure in the near to medium term?
Yes battery packs, charging infra, BMS, Controller, VCU, and Cloud connectivity because EV by design is a connected vehicle.
Both Amara and Exide (Q4 FY 23 concall of Exide, 26th September 2022 Amara call) have stated that every EV vehicle requires an Lead Acid Battery. However as per my check with a friend working in maruti service center. EV vehicle do not require lead acid battery. Is it that market do not have confidence of terminal value of existing lead acid business?
Here in both the cases they are talking about secondary battery which even today every Vehicle requires.
This is good overview of LI-ION Battery
In case any violation of guideline of the forum let me know will delete.
@xvivek what they have stated is that every EV requires an lead acid battery as auxiliary power source in addition to Lithium-ion Batteries. However as per my checks, one with a 25+ years experience in mahindra’s production division and another with 10+ years experience in maruti service center, EV do not have lead acid battery as auxiliary power source.
Yes, EVs and Hybrids do require the lead acid battery as an auxiliary power source.
The only 2 exceptions are the Tesla Model S and Model X, who ditched the lead acid battery just last year. This was because they were getting too many complaints on battery discharging/ reliability in particularly these 2 models. Note that the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y still use the AGM lead acid battery.
Explaining this in short - it is the lead acid battery that provides primary power for low voltage systems used to wake the car, Bluetooth receiver, lights, Sentry Mode, door locks, windows, latches, actuators, etc. When car is awake and high voltage (HV) contactors are closed, 12v support is supplied by the HV battery pack. Only lead batteries hit all the cold cranking amps (CCA) performance necessary for starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) applications. The lead acid battery is reliable and extremely cost efficient, and doesn’t require a BMS circuit board that a lithium ion low voltage battery would.
I understand that your original concern is about the terminal value of AREM’s legacy business. I honestly feel that the business should get a higher terminal value, because lead batteries should continue to be auxiliary power source for years to come. Now this technology is also going to move from Flooded Lead Acid Batteries to AGM (absorbed glass mat) or EFB (enhanced flooded batteries) to Lithium Ion 12V batteries over time.
The Clarios xEV Battery Portfolio illustrates the evolution we’ll see in this space -
So even though the main high voltage Li-on battery pack will see a lot of competition, here we have this niche, high margin business where operational leverage will continue to favour the incumbents clearly.
Plus now they have a wider export market, which is another big trigger for AREM. With Johnson Controls as a promoter-shareholder, they had restrictions over selling in many international markets, esp the western countries. AREM has a good foothold now in many SE Asian/ West Asian/ African markets, and the next big challenge is Europe and America. Industrial also continues to be a growing segment for them. AREM simply has to demonstrate that their terminal value should not be this discounted.
The way I see AREM is that this a long term play where we’re getting the legacy business cheap, plus the optionality of the new energy business, which makes it extremely attractive in this market. While it’s important to put a number to the terminal value of their legacy business, we have to understand that the potential upside will only come from the optionality, ie. what they can achieve in the new energy business.
“Over the next five years, India’s vehicle population is expected to experience exponential growth, with a projected count of approximately 252 million two-wheelers and over 96 million four-wheelers in India by 2028”
• AMARA RAJA market share – 30-35%
• OEM market share- 30%
• Telecom – 80+ %
• UPS – 40%
• 60% of the value of the battery is main raw material lead
• 85% of lead comes from recycled process
• Lead procurement – local ( As of NOW)
• 12- 14% export
• Amara Raja Batteries’ board has approved setting up a greenfield lead acid recycling plant with an estimated capacity of 1 lakh tonnes p.a at a total outlay of Rs 280 crores to be spent over the next 18 months. This will help the company comply with recycling standards whilst adopting advance technology in the most environmentally friendly manner
lead recycling plant in Cheyyar,Tamil Nadu,
• First phase of recycling plant with capacity of 1 lakh tonnes is expected to start by Q1 FY25. This would increase the inhouse recycled lead procurement for the company
• This plant will cater to 30% of their lead requirements
• Applications - catering to e-mobility and energy storage applications in India. Such as EV, UPS ( Industries and data centers), Telecom
• Automotive (volume of batteries)
- 19.2 Mn capacity – 4 wheeler
- 30 mn capacity in 2 whheler
• Industiral 2.3 Bn-A-H
• strive to increase the lead procurement Company intends to spend 300-400 cr. for lead acid expansion in FY24 and FY25 respectively
• Total raw material cost – 568.87 Cr
• Lead recycling FY 23- 69.53% FY 22 63.49% 10 % increase
• Batteries application
• Automotive 32%
• Industrial- 45%
• Total recycled waste- 27,823 MT FY 23
Future Plan of Action
• Development of NextGen Enhanced Flooded batteries for automotive application.
• Development of AUX product range for vehicle electric versions Development of market specific BCI product range Development of AGM product range for start stop application.
• Development of market specific product range of UPS Batteries with Advanced Plate Making Technology Development of robust battery for commercial vehicle applications.
• Study and Concept Evaluation of Advanced Plate making technology for Telecom Application.
• Evaluation of Chemistry Agnostic Solutions for Automotive and Industrial Applications Lead Optimization through Value Engineering Evaluation of different flame-retardant material grades to meet the global regulations/ directives
• New pasting additives to enhance the performance of 4W batteries Improve pasting process to enhance plate electrolyte availability Development of eco-friendly materials for bushing adhesive
• Throughput improvement of 2W negative plates curing process Evaluation & implementation of improved formation process for DIN batteries to reduce formation energy Advanced formation process validation for Flooded automotive batteries
• Develop and implement processes and controls to meet market specific requirements
• Develop & validate acid homogenization process for flooded batteries Screening of Lithium-Cell Technologies of different potential technology partners
• Development of 2170 NMC cylindrical cells with different compositions
• Develop 2/3 series LFP cylindrical cells.
• Amara raja seems to shift its complete focus towards raw material procurement for lead as 80% of it lead requirement has been fulfilled by recycled batteries which has became evident with its recent invsestment in lead recycling plant which expected to cover its 30% requirement of raw material and will benefit the company for longer run. Amara Raja aims for $3 billion revenue in lead acid batteries within 5-7 years
• Amara Raja aims for $3 billion revenue in lead acid batteries within 5-7 years
• Also company has been focused to increase its new energy business electric mobility and energy storage for which the energy requirement is mostly from li – ion battery based material. mostly based on batteries recycling.
• signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Telangana to establish research and manufacturing facilities for lithium-ion cells and battery packs. The ‘Amara Raja Giga Corridor’ project, with an investment of approximately INR 9,500 crore in capital expenditure and new technology, aims to produce Lithium Cells and Battery Packs with capacities of up to 16GWh and 5GWh, respectively
• For this company has been investing heavily on its R&D centers. And trying to innovate new technologies in LI-ion battery segment which will cater future generation of transportation , may be its logistics or EV sector, two wheeler and 3, 4 wheeler. Targeting to increase its market share in India.
• In November 2022, established Amara Raja Advanced Cell Technologies (ARACT) to focus exclusively on expanding our lithium pack assembly operations as well as to channel our significant investment towards domestic lithium cell manufacturing. Phase 1 will consist of an R&D centre, a pack assembly facility, our commercial pilot line for cells, and 2 GWh of cell manufacturing. All of the required partners have been onboarded and approval processes are underway at the respective government bodies
Northvolt has reported a breakthrough - Sodium iron battery Northvolt in new sodium-ion battery breakthrough (ft.com)
How do you foresee this playing out if this technology is viable and ends up achieving commercialization? Do you think that being an early entrant in Li-ion batteries could turn out to be a competitive disadvantage?
I’m trying to get my head around this business, which is pretty conducive, however the equation of Li has added complications.
1.On 26.09.2022 announcement on sister concern and merger: Mangal industries Limited (MIL) is manufacturing of plastic components for battery such as containers, jars, covers, small plastic parts, handle etc. The transaction near to completion stage (Consider 15 -18 months from Oct 2022) and advantage of the transaction overall improvement on EBITDA by 0.75% -1%.
Current EBITDA - 12% -13%
- AREL has acquired engineering design firm Design Alpha (DFM Softech Pvt Ltd) , is a service provider and well recognized by the DSIR and focusing on developing & designing engg solutions and technologies to solve the complex challenges.
So apart from Li business… we are looking for another development on business, management guidance and more on execution timeline.
Amara Raja Energy & Mobility: A High Probability Wealth Creation Opportunity
The world is trying to get better environmentally by reducing carbon emissions. In order to reduce carbon emissions, the world is trying to adopt Electric Vehicles (EVs) instead of Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles. When it comes to EVs, the main cost of the car is the battery that it has in the car.
Currently, in the battery space for EVs, there is one major player “Amara Raja Energy and Mobility”. It is the technology leader and is one of the largest manufacturers of lead-acid batteries for both industrial and automotive applications in the Indian storage battery industry. Under the automotive application, they are present in both markets that is OEMs and the After Market. In both segments, they have market share of around 30%-40%. Under the industrial application, they are present in two sectors that is Telecom & UPS. Under Telecom sector, they are the leaders with 80%+ market share. Under the UPS segment (Data centre Application), their market share is 40%.
In order to make a battery, the main raw material required is Lead which is 60% of the value of the battery. 85% of the lead comes from the recycled process as it is the easiest to recycle and have a very high efficiency in recycling. They currently procure lead locally for now. In order to carry out the recycling process internally, their board has approved setting up a Greenfield lead acid recycling plant with an estimated capacity of 1 lakh tonnes p.a at a total outlay of Rs. 280 crores to be spent over the next 18 months. This will help the company comply with recycling standards whilst adopting advance technology in the most environmentally friendly manner lead recycling plant in Cheyyar, Tamil Nadu. The first phase of the plant is expected to commission by Q1FY25 which would increase the in-house recycled lead procurement. Overall, the whole plant will cater to 30% of their lead requirements.
The company seems to shift its complete focus towards raw material procurement for lead as 80% of its lead requirements have been fulfilled by recycled batteries which has become evident with its recent investment in lead recycling plant which will benefit the company in the longer run. Revenue Growth to be expected from Lead Acid Battery Business at $3BN from current $1.2BN in the next 5-7 years.
The company is also focusing to increase its revenue contribution from the New Energy Business which is catering to electric mobility and energy storage applications for which the energy requirement is mostly from li – ion battery material based on batteries recycling. For this company has been investing heavily in its R&D centres. They are trying to innovate new technologies in Li-ion battery segment which will cater to the future generation of transportation. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Telangana to establish research and manufacturing facilities for lithium-ion cells and battery packs. The ‘Amara Raja Giga Corridor’ project, with an investment of approximately INR 9,500 crore in capital expenditure and new technology, aims to produce Lithium Cells and Battery Packs with capacities of up to 16GWh and 5GWh, respectively
They also want to be present globally. So they have implemented a globalization strategy that is they want to increase market share in the existing geographies. They also want to tap western geographies. Europe and North America (especially for UPS Batteries).
This makes the case of Amara Raja very strong in the coming years based on the above facts. I am highly bullish on the company which is highly possible to do very well in terms of revenue and profitability.
That’s right !!! This is AMARA Transformational journey!! From FY25 onwards, many developments will be reflected in both Topline and bottomline
There was a very good recent article from Morning context on Amara Raja. I am sharing the key points below.
Galla’s political career: has been vocal in his opposition to the Narendra Modi-led government and has close connections with Andhra Pradesh opposition leader and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu. In July, The New Indian Express had reported that he now wants to quit active politics and will not contest in the general elections in 2024.
Amaron has managed to bag the top spot in the replacement battery
Next generation of business leaders came in (two nephews of Javadev Galla, Harshavardhana Gourineni and Vikramadithya Gourineni)
Harshavardhana, 35, has spent eight years at auto component maker Mangal Industries—he also served as the CEO of the group subsidiary.
Vikramadithya Gourineni, 32, has worked at Amara Raja Power Systems (power equipment and project developer) and Amara Raja Electronics (maker of power circuit boards). Tasked with “new energy” business. He has been allowed to take on more risks
International: Boost share of international sales from 13.3% in FY23 to 50% in next 5-7 years, plans to gain a foothold in the US and Latin America. Do contract manufacturing for Walmart and Amazon to manufacture private-label batteries for the US and other region
Investing Rs 400 crore to setup a recycling unit that will recover 150,000 tonnes of lead—this will help the company meet 30% of its requirement every year
One key financial highlight between Amara and Exide (Amara scores higher on each possible metric)
Disclosure: Invested (position size here, no transactions in last-30 days)
This looks like more of a storage / assembly unit . No manufacturing ?