Jammu & Kashmir Lithium reserves has given wings for India’s Electric Vehicle Dreams.
Recent discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of Lithium reserves by the Geographical Survey of India in the Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir has given wings for India’s electric vehicle dreams. If we manage to utilize this natural resource into battery grade Lithium will be an upgrade for the Indian economy.
Lithium is found concentrated along with other minerals in the form of oxides and carbonates. Lithium ion batteries processed from raw Lithium are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. On the grounds it’s crucial to turn India into a green economy.
Currently India does not have an advanced infrastructure to manufacture Lithium ion batteries to a large extent. India depends on imports from China, Argentina and Australia. China manufactures more than 70% of the global Lithium ion batteries and out of top 10 manufacturers 6 are from China. This shows the monopoly of China in the business market.
By 2030, Government of India expects the sales of electric vehicles to be 30% for private automobiles, 70% for the commercial vehicles and 80% of the 2 and 3 wheelers. The Government records states the sales of electric vehicles has witnessed a rise during the last few years. While sales during 2020-21 was only 48,179, the figures increased to 2,37,811 in 2021-22 to 4,42,901 in 2022-23 (till December 9 2022).
Experts say domestic manufacturing can reduce the electric vehicle rate from 10% – 20% and rapidly increase the sales of electric vehicles in India. This will hugely reduce the Indian dependency in import of oil and gas for the fuel needs. Import and export ratio can be balanced to decrease the inflation rate and increase the forex reserves of India to a large extent.
Usage of electric vehicles will have a great environmental impact, as India is one of the most polluted countries of the world. Following Bangladesh, Kuwait, Chad and UAE while considering the average AQI 2022. Indian cities New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Begusarai, Noida, Faridabad, Sahasra and Patna come under the top ten most polluted cities of the world. The other three cities include Kashgar – China, Lahore- Pakistan and Birganj -Nepal. Till date the Government of India has not been able to keep a check on pollution even after imposing strong measures.
Some reports state that these natural reserves were found in 1999, but it took 2 decades to move from the preliminary survey & research stage to the excavation stage. The authorities have not responded about this slow development process. Other Lithium reserves have also been found in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
If we are able to develop advanced extraction and manufacturing infrastructure for the Lithium ion batteries, India could become the top global manufacturer of Lithium ion batteries even exceeding China on sales. This will have great economic as well as environmental advantages for India.