India and Australia are collaborating to boost critical mineral production, processing, and battery manufacturing as part of their trade partnership. Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal announced this at a New Delhi conference on vehicle electrification. Both nations have signed an interim free trade agreement and are negotiating a comprehensive pact.

Barthwal emphasized integrating their economies in battery production, mineral processing, and vehicle production. The Indian government is promoting domestic electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and enhancing charging infrastructure. Australian High Commissioner Philip Green OAM highlighted Australia’s strong reserves of critical minerals like lithium and cobalt, essential for clean energy technologies.

Australia is the largest producer of lithium and the second largest of cobalt globally. Green stressed the importance of a full free trade agreement to facilitate India’s access to these minerals, crucial for technologies like wind turbines and EVs. The demand for these minerals is growing rapidly with the global push for clean energy transitions.

Barthwal mentioned India’s collaboration with Norway and the European Union on renewable energy and critical technologies. He stressed the need for global cooperation to meet energy transition and carbon emission reduction goals. The Indian EV sector is expanding quickly, requiring a robust ecosystem for EV manufacturing, battery production, and charging infrastructure.

The government aims to create a level playing field and offer incentives to support sector growth. With around 1.7 million EVs sold in India, initiatives like FAME and production-linked incentives are in place. Barthwal highlighted significant investment opportunities in the sector, with potential nearing USD 500 billion.

Source: Rediff