The lithium find in Jammu & Kashmir will help reduce the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) in India, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said at the inaugural Money control Policy Next-The Rs 10 Trillion Infra Push summit in New Delhi on March 23.
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) said in February it found lithium deposits, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, the first time the metal which is a vital battery component has been found in India. About 5.9 million tonne (MT) of lithium inferred resources are believed to be a game-changer as India pushes for EVs to check pollution and its oil bill.
Gadkari said the country was looking to extract the metal as soon as possible. “Currently importing 1200 tonnes of lithium every year, J&K find will help,” he added.
“We can reduce the cost of electric vehicles if our lithium will be available and we will be the number one manufacturing hub in the world,” Gadkari said, adding India could also look at the possibility of exports.
Pricey batteries are one of the main reasons for high-cost of EVs. The government as well as EV makers are looking for ways to reduce the cost of batteries to popularise EVs.
Lithium is the main element required to make lithium-ion batteries, a critical input for electric vehicles and devices like cell phones and laptops. So far, all of India’s lithium-ion battery requirements are met through imports.