Tokyo: Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. is planning to invest around USD 1.26 billion in India to step up production of electric vehicles and build a new plant for car batteries, local media reported on Saturday.

Suzuki, India's biggest carmaker, already has plants in states like Gujarat and Haryana. It accounts for around half of new vehicles sold in the country. This latest decision is in line with efforts by the Indian government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Kyodo News agency reported citing sources close to the matter.

The production of EVs is scheduled to begin by 2025 at one of the company's existing plants. The Japanese agency said Suzuki is aiming to increase its competitiveness by strengthening EV production and expanding its product line-up in the local market.

Moreover, the automaker also plans to allocate 1 trillion yen for research and development on hybrid vehicles and other forms of automotive electrification over five years from fiscal 2021.

This report comes as India and Japan launched a 'Clean Energy Partnership (CEP)' for cooperation towards achieving sustainable economic growth during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to India.

The initiative was launched on the occasion of the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit in New Delhi on Saturday.

"The partnership will lead to clean growth by boosting job creation, innovation and investments. It will also demonstrate to the world that India and Japan are at the forefront in delivering on the ambitious climate and sustainable development goals," a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the partnership said.

"The cooperation under this partnership will build on the work already being covered by the two sides under the foundation of the 'India-Japan Energy Dialogue' established in 2007 and will substantially expand the areas of collaboration for mutual benefit," the statement further said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM welcomed the launch of the India-Japan 'Clean Energy Partnership (CEP)'.

According to a joint press statement, the initiative was launched to achieve sustainable economic growth. This partnership will also look to address climate change and ensure energy security in areas such as electric vehicles (EV), storage systems including batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI), solar energy, clean including green hydrogen/ammonia, and wind energy.

The implementation of the partnership will be undertaken under the existing 'India-Japan Energy Dialogue', among various stakeholders such as Ministries and organizations involved in this mechanism, the MEA statement said.

Under the partnership, cooperation may also extend into the areas of waste management, clean steel, clean construction, sustainable urban development and water management, MEA added.