In a boost to the EV industry in India, Nasdaq-listed Taiwanese sustainable mobility tech and battery-swapping infrastructure firm Gogoro Inc. and Belrise Industries (previously known as Badve Engineering Ltd) have announced the deployment of the battery-swapping network in Maharashtra with an investment of $2.5 billion.

Gogoro is a global technology firm in battery-swapping ecosystems that enables smart sustainable mobility solutions for cities. Homegrown Belrise and Gogoro's 50-50 joint venture will invest around $2.5 billion over eight years in Maharashtra. The non-binding MOU agreement was signed during the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 in Davos, Switzerland.

Gogoro says the plan is to build a smart energy infrastructure in Maharashtra, which is open and accessible. The project involves setting up battery swapping and smart battery stations as a leading source for mobility and energy storage. It's expected to create more jobs across the smart energy, electric vehicle, and sustainable value chain in the state. The tie-up is also expected to foster smart EV manufacturing and assembly in the state.

“It is indeed a remarkable moment for the state, this will perhaps be the largest green partnership of this nature worldwide,” said Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde. Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said the state is partnering with Gogoro and Belrise to deploy the world’s largest and most innovative smart energy infrastructure to utilise battery swapping for solving the unique and distributed energy challenges.

Horace Luke, founder, and CEO of Gogoro said the future of smart sustainable cities and countries is not about a single company or government but about a community coming together to instil a new way of thinking. “Together, the State of Maharashtra, Belrise Industries and Gogoro plan to shift energy usage and establish this new sustainable economy that will encourage jobs creation, establish new technical and sustainable industrial capabilities, and ultimately increase state exports.”

The battery-swapping infrastructure expects to begin deploying across the state in 2023. Gogoro’s smart energy ecosystem offers battery stations, swapping technologies, and network management solutions. The project is expected to contribute to smart city design and development, energy storage stations and systems.

The Maha CM said more than MoUs worth 45,000 crore were signed on the first day of the Davos 2023 event. Prominent among those is a greenfield food processing plant worth ₹250 crore in Pune; and a Greenco renewable energy project worth ₹12,000 crore in Aurangabad. It is expected to provide jobs to 6,300 people.

The state government has also signed an MoU worth ₹16,000 crore with Berkshire-Hathaway to develop urban infrastructure in Maharashtra. The pact for a glass tubing project worth ₹1,650 crore with Nipro Corporation of Japan was also signed near Pune. The project will create 2,000 jobs in the pharma manufacturing sector in Maharashtra. Indus Capital Partners has also committed to investing around ₹16,000 crore in Mumbai in the areas of health, technology, and defence.

The EV industry in India has gained momentum in the past few years. The industry saw 20x growth by the 2022-end, with the monthly run rate increasing from just 4,000 units a month in June 2021 to 80,000 units towards the end of 2022. The year saw the EV penetration rising from 1% in 2021 to almost 6% -- in some cities, almost 20% -- in just a year, with the reach not only restricted to urban but rural areas as well.

The government has also implemented Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) to encourage the adoption of EVs through subsidies. Currently, the phase II of the scheme is under effect for 5 years, starting from 2019, with a total budget of ₹10,000 crore.

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