Nexcharge To Achieve Breakeven Point Amid High EV Demand

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With the elevation of the electric vehicle market in India, Nexcharge, a joint venture involving India’s top battery manufacturer Exide and Switzerland’s Leclanche, has set an ambitious goal of breaking even, which is Rs 400 crores, after five years of establishment in the country.

“Rs 400 crores (of revenue) is what I would like to get to because that’s our breakeven point. I have not said that we will achieve it, but I will do my best with the team to get there,” Stefan Louis, CEO of Nexcharge, told ET.

He also mentioned that the corporation has yet to finalize its budget for FY23. However, breakeven in FY23 was a worthwhile goal, as the firm is working hard to meet it.

Nexcharge, founded in 2018, manufactures lithium-ion battery packs, particularly for the automotive industry. So far, the business has spent Rs 250 crore in India, where it has established a 1.5 Gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery pack manufacturing factory.

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Nexcharge has over 35 customers, the majority of which are in the transportation industry. Among its clients are various two- and three-wheeler manufacturers, as well as a half-dozen bus makers. It does, however, import the cells utilized in the packs, which account for up to 70% of the ultimate product’s worth.

Despite the fact that there is a global scarcity of lithium-ion cells due to the rising demand for electric vehicles, Louis believes the demand-supply gap will shrink in the next year. However, the company’s profitability may be jeopardized as a result of raw material price fluctuations.

Farseeing the results of high EV demands and inadequate supplies of resources, the firm was collaborating with Exide on proposals for a lithium-ion cell factory in India as part of the gov’t production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme for innovative and advanced chemistry cells. 

Exide will establish a separate business to handle cell production facilities, but will cooperate closely with Nexcharge. While on the other hand, Amara Raja, another major automotive battery manufacturer and a head-on competitor of Nexcharge, is also pursuing the PLI plan.

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Louis estimated that the expenditure, excluding land, would be nearer to Rs 350 crore per GWh, and thereby, is confident in acquiring the PLI scheme withstanding the government condition that mandates the companies to establish a facility with at least 5 GWh of cell production capability and to spend at least Rs 225 crore per GWh.

Nexcharge aims to acquire 20-30% shares of the lithium-ion cell market, as he forecast its national demand for conveyance needs would be 80 GWh by 2030.

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