By Rishika Sadam
HYDERABAD (Reuters) - India's Amara Raja Batteries plans to expand into the two-wheeler electric vehicle (EV) market, first through chargers and then batteries, as part of an expansion to triple its lithium-ion business this financial year, a top executive said.
Amara Raja, which currently has customers only in the three-wheeler EV market, gets about 2.5% of its revenue from its lithium-ion battery business, while the rest of its total revenue of 103.85 billion rupees ($1.25 billion) in fiscal 2023 was from its flagship lead acid storage battery-making unit.
The company, which owns the Amaron battery brand, aims to penetrate into two-wheeler EV market first with chargers and eventually through battery packs as it expands its so-called 'new energy' segment.
"This year, we're looking to grow very aggressively, that is almost going to be three times of last year," Executive Director Vikramadithya Gourineni said in an interview with Reuters last week.
It is also banking on its upcoming lithium cell and battery pack manufacturing units, one of India's largest, to increase production by the first quarter of the next financial year.
"We're talking to people for cell technology, chemistry development; we're even working with Indian players for raw materials," he said, highlighting how demand from the telecom sector is growing.
Amara Raja is also in talks with global companies to explore opportunities for "technology transfer" tied to lithium-ion battery manufacturing, sources told Reuters. However, Gourineni declined to provide more details.
The company has customers across the automotive, telecom and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) sectors.
Its lead acid battery arm will focus on expanding in the West and the company is in talks with eight "large" distributors in North America for a strategic supply partnership, Executive Director Harshavardhana Gourineni said.
"These distributors have their own brands and we're looking to offer our products. Some of these partnerships will materialise in this financial year," he said.
($1 = 83.1285 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Rishika Sadam; Editing by Dhanya Skariachan, Sonia Cheema and Savio D'souza)