Interview for Shogo Tsuruta, R&D at Terra Motors India

Japanese martial arts word “Shuhari” brought a challenge in india

Mr. Shogo Tsuruta worked at GS Yuasa which is the Japanese battery manufacturer for 11 years and he experienced from the initial stages of development and research to mass production. Then he joined Terra Motors and positioned himself as an expert on R&D of EV batteries. What potential did he find out in India and Terra Motors and started the new challenge in his life?

0:00 Opening
0:09 From an Enterprise to a Global Startup, Terra Motors
2:40 Developing Sustainable Products Through Beneficial Work for the World
3:49 Status of EV Charging in the Indian EV Industry
5:10 Indian and Japanese to Develop the Technology
6:09 India-Japan Co-Creation to Make Indian EV Industry the Center of the World

Video link : Interview for Mr. Shogo Tsuruta (寉田彰吾), R&D | Terra Motors

From an Enterprise to a Global Startup, Terra Motors

I attended a Technical High School where  I specialized in technical study. I stayed in Kyushu   till I was 20 years old, and moved  to a university in Kyoto as a third-year transfer, where I  focused on my studies until I graduated school.  I joined a battery manufacturer called GS Yuasa and worked there  for 11 years before joining Terra Motors in September, 2021. At GS Yuasa I was working  in mechanical development . my area of expertise, under which the development department does  research elements.

Previously in my job, I experienced from the initial stages of development and research to mass production. I was also majorly engaged in the battery industry,  specifically cells and substrates. I am grateful that I was able to experience a wide range of factors there. My role at Terra Motors is positioned as an expert on batteries in general, means  I am an expert on the single cell that is often used in dry cell batteries, the package that it contains , and how it is used in a car.

Frankly, I wanted to change my job at least once in my life. Life is long, and I wanted to work in multiple cultures rather than staying in one only. I have been involved in kendo, Japanese martial arts and other sports. In martial arts, there is a word “Shuhari,” which is composed of “to protect,” “to break,” and “to leave “.

Firstly, we follow and do as we are taught. There is a saying that you create your own originality, or in other words, break it down, and then leave it and do it on your own. I had spent 10 years working  for a large corporation. So I decided  it was time to depart and do my own thing.

Developing Sustainable Products Through Beneficial Work for the World

I think there has always been an appreciation of low environmental impact or recycling, which is an earlier stage of sustainability or the SDGs. If you want to work, it would be better to do something that will  be useful for the world, and it would be better to make products that have less impact on the environment.

Lithium-ion batteries have become a commodity, or rather universal, and are used in a wide variety of products. I also believe they have safe results. Research and development is also progressing in the sector of cost and energy density, where it would be preferred  to store energy in the balanced weight or volume.

The next generation of lithium-ion batteries is also being researched, such as all-solid-state batteries and other post-lithium batteries. The development of battery technology is changing the world, and I think this situation is gaining extreme attention.

Status of EV Charging in the Indian EV Industry

India does not produce many lithium-ion batteries, mostly they import from China, so in this sense, the industry is at an early stage. Henceforth, the Indian government is promoting EVs as a measure to improve the environment and air pollution. They are also considering the possibility of in-house production of key devices such as batteries and lithium batteries as a target for subsidies. I feel  that the industry will grow domestically as well.

In the case of lithium-ion batteries, it is essential to build a supply chain by supplying complex parts such as a single battery cell, a base material called BMS, and plastic and metal materials for housings, in order to create an assembly. It is also very important to build relationships with suppliers. We are in the process of building  a system, and we have recently begun to develop the kind of batteries that the Indian market requires. Starting with this concept, the supply of parts and components will be accomplished by next year or the year after.

Indian and Japanese to Develop the Technology

Indian technicians should be able to do a good job if the request is well organized and clearly defined with statistics. It is not a question of being technically inferior, but rather of what kind of input and output you can expect and I believe that people in India are capable of completing  this work.

It is essential to be able to reach an agreement on the supply chain.. I believe they have enough potential to do this. When I talk to people in India, I notice they are very simple and can communicate using statistics. If we explain things rationally, they generally do it. I think this is the base for the creation of industries in the future.

India-Japan Co-Creation to Make Indian EV Industry the Center of the World

India is a country with a very diverse culture and values, and has a dynamic market. I think it will be very advantageous  to be involved in the global trend toward electrification and the commercialization of sustainability, it will be a great experience.

I would like to provide the knowledge of key devices such as batteries that I learned  previously to Indian Society. The supply chain, which I mentioned earlier, is very important, and I would like to reflect the Japanese culture and approach to quality. China is now positioned as the world’s factory, but I believe India has  potential to become the world’s factory as well. I hope to see India becoming the world’s factory and exporting various products to the world from our Indian base, and doing business in other countries.

▼ All text of Interview for Assistant General Manager, Nidhi Chawla
Interview for Nidhi Chawla, Assistant General Manager at Terra Motors India