WFH & on-line schooling costs up inverter, UPS battery demand – Occasions of India

RAJKOT: City-based businessman Jay Chhagani was desperately searching for his jeep’s battery that dried-up due to non-usage during lockdown. But Chhagani will have to wait for at least a fortnight to get a replacement, something that would have normally taken just a few hours earlier.
The demand for automotive batteries for cars and two-wheelers has significantly increased since June with vehicles lying idle during lockdown. But, at the same time, the battery manufacturers have shifted to making more lucrative inverters and UPS batteries whose demand too has soared due to work-from-home (WFH) culture and online education.
According to dealers, the waiting period for four-wheeler batteries is around 10-20 days while that for two-wheelers is around 7-10 days depending upon the vehicle model.
“My battery was under warranty. The dealer gave me the option to purchase a battery from elsewhere in the market and assured me to reimburse the cost. I went into the market but nowhere could I get the jeep battery,” Chhagani told TOI.
Vasant Pansara, who has a battery showroom on Gondal Road, said, “The demand for automotive batteries has increased by 30% to 35%. The demand for inverter and UPS batteries has risen 20-25% compared to last year due to WFH culture and online education coupled with monsoon that causes power outages in smaller towns.”
In India, Exide and Amara Raja command nearly 50% of the automotive battery market.
Navneet Pansara, managing director of Jamnagar-based battery company, said, “The volume amount and profit margin is much higher in inverter batteries compared to automotive, so there is an obvious shift to making these lucrative ones.
Another reason for the shift is the shortage of lead, the key raw material for automotive batteries. The metal comes from the recycling of scrapped batteries from various parts of the state but this process has been hit due to non-availability of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar labourers.
Promoter of Gandhinagar-based company, Rajesh Patel, said, “The maximum demand for inverter batteries is in south Gujarat this year, mainly due to power outages in rural areas.”

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