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Battery swapping will expedite EV adoption, say industry experts

Stakeholders in the mobility ecosystem are now awaiting the formulation of the interoperability standards for developing their batteries and charging systems.Premium
Stakeholders in the mobility ecosystem are now awaiting the formulation of the interoperability standards for developing their batteries and charging systems.

  • Keeping with India’s commitment at COP26 to take measures to decarbonize the economy, the Union Budget laid out a focused set of measures to address the challenges in scaling up EV charging infrastructure

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government will bring out a battery swapping policy and formulate interoperability standards for charging to facilitate large-scale adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Interoperability, or standardization, of charging systems implies an EV user can charge their vehicle at any charging network seamlessly, notwithstanding the make of their vehicle or battery.

Keeping with India’s commitment to take measures to decarbonize the economy, the Union Budget laid out a focused set of measures to address the challenges in scaling up EV charging infrastructure.

While the central government’s FAME-II scheme and various states’ EV policies have helped lower costs of EVs, particularly two-wheelers, the high cost of battery replacement and a lack of public charging infrastructure or dedicated home-charging spots in urban households have held back their mass adoption.

Sitharaman said the government will encourage promotion of batteries-as-a-service (BaaS) to bring in efficiencies in the ecosystem. Electric two-wheelers usually come fitted with batteries from the manufacturer. If batteries are offered to customers as a ‘service’, much akin to refuelling a vehicle at a gas station, upfront costs can be significantly reduced, while addressing range anxieties.

EV manufacturers hailed the announcement as a practical move to accelerate EV adoption.

“With BaaS, a customer can buy an electric scooter for as low as 36,000 in Gujarat (which heavily subsidizes electric two-wheelers) and 45,000 in the rest of India," Vivekananda Hallekere, co-founder of Bengaluru-based electric-two wheeler startup Bounce Scooter Share, told Mint. On average, an electric scooter with BaaS can cost as much as 50% cheaper than a traditional IC-engine scooter.

“We have already been in the battery swapping space through our tie-up with Gogoro in Taiwan,", Pawan Munjal, Chairman and chief executive officer of Hero MotoCorp told Mint.

Stakeholders in the mobility ecosystem are now awaiting the formulation of the interoperability standards for developing their batteries and charging systems.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alisha Sachdev

Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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