November 16, 2022

Lohum CEO Rajat Verma targets facility in USA for upstream capacities after 4th plant in Greater Noida

Lohum expands in the US

Lohum is Mercedes-Benz Energy’s first partner in Asia to source lithium-ion battery for recycling and repurposing.

One of India’s largest producers of lithium-ion battery raw materials through recycling, repurposing, and low-carbon refining, Lohum is an integrated battery recycling and reuse company that has become the first partner for Mercedes-Benz Energy in Asia. Rajat Verma, Founder & CEO, Lohum shares the thought behind the new partnership, expansion, and future plans.

What is Lohum’s current exposure to the EV industry?
Lohum has been directly involved in the EV industry since the company’s inception, as India’s largest producer of sustainable lithium-ion battery raw materials through recycling, repurposing, and low-carbon refining. We are the only integrated battery recycling and reuse company in the world.

Since its inception in 2018, we have built a battery recycling market share of approximately 60-70 percent in India.
Our patented Metelec lithium-ion battery recycling and extraction technology delivers 95 percent material yield, prevents up to 50 percent CO2e (90% via reuse), and consumes 500x less water than mining per ton. We are on our way to prevent over 4 million tonne of CO2e by 2026.

Our re-use technology helps us accurately determine remaining useful life of cells, provide accurate salvage prices quickly via our LOPI index, and decide optimal second-life applications to maximise residual value.
Mercedes-Benz Energy and Lohum have been working together for nearly two years now.

Is your partnership with Mercedes-Benz Energy limited to only India or also other geographies?
Lohum is Mercedes-Benz Energy’s first partner in Asia, and the partnership will encompass all relevant offtake locations.

In addition to the electric rickshaw segment, can these batteries be also used for electric two-wheelers?
We prefer to deploy second-life batteries in low-power applications. Any application that satisfies this criterion is a viable candidate.

Where will you set up the battery recycling/repurposing plant?
We have already scouted a new facility in Greater Noida for our immediate expansion. With that, we should be able to expand about three times our current capacity, seamlessly upscaling to meet and exceed the minimum offtake requirements of this agreement.

Will you look at sourcing batteries from other OEMs as well?
Absolutely. Our quest to make battery materials last forever and foster a domestic supply necessitates the sourcing of end-of-life batteries and scrap from as many OEMs as possible. We already are working with several OEMs and we will continue to reach out to other OEMs as well.

Who are your current customers? And where do you source the cells from?
Today, our customers and partners are all across the globe in the US, EU, Middle-East, East Asia, and South-East Asia. We source cells from their end-of-life battery packs.

Going forward what is your plan for the future? Any new investments lined up?
Beyond setting up our fourth plant in Greater Noida, our immediate target is to set up a facility in the United States for upstream capacities. That facility will work on the hub-and-spoke model where the US becomes a spoke feeding into the Indian hub. We expect that facility to come up in the next 6-9 months. The downstream capacity will be entirely in India, while the upstream capacity will be distributed in India, the US, and Europe over time.

While we are sufficiently capitalised at the moment for our immediate expansion, in the future we will reach out to investors at the right point of time. We anticipate the next fundraiser to be in the $100 million (Rs 825 crore) ballpark.

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