15 min read.Updated: 01 Feb 2022, 08:04 PM ISTLivemint
The introduction of battery swapping policy and interoperability standards will go a long way in building the use cases
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Naveen Munjal, (MD, Hero Electric
The last year has seen the EV industry witness tremendous growth and the government has been privy to the fact that the way forward in the mobility sector is to shift to EVs. We thus welcome the move by Hon’ble Finance Minister for announcing the commencement of battery swapping and battery standardization process.
This move will open up avenues for further growth and development of the EV and energy sector in the country. Hero Electric has always been a strong advocate of standardization of EV battery packs to accelerate EV adoption. Interoperability standards will help address range anxiety issues and battery swapping stations will be an asset to the evolving EV ecosystem across the country.
Keeping in line with the Net Zero commitment of 2070 made by Hon’ble Prime Minister, announcement of the PLI scheme focusing on solar modules and reduction of reliance on non-renewable sources of energy via the launch of sovereign green bonds to create a carbon free economy is a major step ahead. Overall, we believe that we are steering forward in our commitment to create an emission free country.
Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO & Co-Founder, Bounce
With the Budget 2022 -2023 announcement on bringing out a robust battery swapping policy, this is a vindication of the path that we have pioneered for Bounce.
Government and policymakers have recognised battery swapping as the most effective solution to accelerate EV adoption in India by addressing range anxiety and hesitancy in adoption as well as considering the pragmatic aspects of setting up charging infrastructure – for instance, space constraints in urban areas for dedicated charging stations. We believe this move can enable affordable and clean mobility at scale.
The Union Budget 2022 did show its intent on promoting cleaner mobility. The fact that the Union Budget 2022, did not focus on the traditional Auto business does show the intent of the government to focus on new technologies with its zero fossil fuel policy.
The introduction of battery swapping policy and interoperability standards will go a long way in building the use cases. The fact that the government will also formulate interoperability standards to improve the efficiency of EV business is a good indication and will support the growth of the infrastructure.
What was missed was an explicit statement of the extension of the FAME scheme and how it can support the expansion of the charging network in India to help facilitate the switch from petrol and diesel-based vehicles to EVs.
The Finance Minister's words that the private sector will be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative business models for battery and energy as a service is a great boost to co-develop the Battery Swapping and EV charging ecosystem.
Rajiv. K Vij, Founder of Plug Mobility
There are some good announcements in the budget to promote EV's through promoting charging infra and standardizing the battery norms for swapping and interoperability.
However the budget has missed a major challenge in EV adoption-Availability of Financing for fleets and Credit Guarantee by Government is desperately required by fleet owners who have suffered hugely during the pandemic.
The commercial car industry is ready to transition to EV but without availability of easy finance at low cost, this will be delayed further.
Akash Gupta, Co-founder & CEO, Zypp Electric
The formulation of battery swapping standards and interoperability is a much-needed step in the right direction. There's been a lot of confusion in the swapping companies, which has dampened EV adoption. Seamless and widespread charging infrastructure is the need of the hour to accelerate the EV revolution in the country.
The focus and thought towards the EV sector by the honorable finance minister reflects the government's poise towards accelerating EV adoption. This will also help us achieve our vision of expanding our battery-swapping network across 100 cities in the next three years I would have loved if GST in battery and spare parts had also been reduced to 5% like it's there for E-vehicles purchases; this would also help the entire electric vehicle ecosystem.
Suhas Rajkumar, CEO & Founder, Simple Energy
It is heartening to see that the government is looking at transitioning to EVs at a faster pace. Although battery as a service can be implemented for certain areas only, encouraging the private sector to create sustainable business models is a welcome move.
Impetus should be given on developing safer battery packs as swapping stations cannot be applied to direct consumers given the safety aspect as this will further lead to making the ownership of the vehicle complex.
The proposed Battery Swapping Policy will provide a mammoth push to the EV adaptability campaign across the nation. We are eagerly looking forward to the Government’s ambitious vision towards upgrading the EV infrastructure ecosystem and also, easing the supply chain through multi modal logistics park which will augment the movement of goods and services across the region.
PM Gati Shakti will act as a catalyst for the industry, 60 lac new jobs will be created which will be benefit the automobile industry. With the infra boost and changes in corporate taxes, the industry is optimistic that this budget will definitely auger well for the economic recovery and overall growth for the country.
Ketan Mehta, Founder & CEO, HOP Electric Mobility
Overall, this is a good budget for electric vehicles and charging/swapping infrastructure in India. The measures under PM Gati Shakti will boost and give the necessary push to job opportunities in every sector. Policy measures announced on battery swapping will help in the wide-scale adoption of ‘batteries as a service’.
Will be happy to see the reduction in ownership costs of electric vehicles with this announcement. Since the cost of running electric vehicles is a practical alternate mode of mobility, the government's intent to improve the charging ecosystem will help ease migration to EVs, which are more economical than the usage of ICE- vehicles. We see this creating opportunities for several new start-ups. We strongly believe and support the clean and green energy mission.
Arun Sunny, Founder & CEO - Trouve Motor
Good initiative to promote Battery swapping policy, and inter operable policy to be formulated will bring down the cost of Electric Vehicles down drastically and also will make the adoption of EVs faster. Electric Vehicles in Urban, Battery and Energy as a service will bring in more investment and faster infrastructure building.
Also, budget allocation of ₹7.5 lakh crore as capital expenditure is a welcome step for the commercial vehicle market; especially the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment, along with being a big boost for the Infrastructure and Manufacturing sector.
Shubhankar Chaudhry, CEO, One Moto India
Almost all the auto giants in India have stepped into EV manufacturing further to the launch of the e-mobility mission. In fact, a number of startups have also launched electric vehicles to leverage the shifting focus towards EVs over ICE.
However, creating a balance between supply and adoption was a long-stalling challenge for every player. Imagine, when the consumer is ready to buy an EV but gets hesitant due to the absence of charging infrastructure. This could not have been achieved without ample government support towards creating the right infrastructure and fueling the adoption at consumers’ end. State governments have been launching policies and subsidies to accelerate the adoption at their end.
Now with the Budget announcement of battery swapping policy, and charging stations at a scale, there is hope that we will soon have a robust system to support the increasing adoption of EVs on road.
As the Budget rightly mentioned, Make In India shall create 6 million New Jobs, and all of us in the industry are dedicated towards accomplishing the same.
Ravikiran Pothukuchi, Director, Dassault Systemes
Battery-swapping, including development of interoperability standards and a shift towards public transport with zero fossil fuel policies, as a part of the Budget 2022, accelerate India's journey to net-zero carbon commitments, and encourage development of EV sector in India.
Investments in Drone manufacturing, support for space startups and design-led manufacturing in development of a strong ecosystem in India will push us towards a new era to deliver. Industry along with supply chain should invest in virtual twin technology to enable collaboration across value chain and improve productivity in manufacturing. Developing design-led intellectual property is a must for India to become a world leader in these new domains.
Greg Moran, CEO & Co-Founder, Zoomcar
In this year’s budget, the Finance Minister made a couple of announcements around the auto industry that will boost the industry overall, and will also enable us to deliver better. With the reforms coming in play in the automobile industry in India the Battery Swapping Policy on being implemented efficiently will benefit the entire EV ecosystem including manufacturers and charging infrastructure players.
As a result of this policy and its appropriate execution, the adoption of EV will see a significant boost in India. The government will also encourage private players to become a part of this new development and its process in setting up adequate infrastructure. While this policy will enable wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles, it will also contribute to achieving net-zero goals of the country.
Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors
The Battery Swapping Policy introduced in the budget will go a long way in improving the affordability of EVs. This policy will lead to battery standardisation. This will also push towards mass adoption of EVs. The policy will also open new opportunities in this sector and support growth of new start-ups.
The special mobility zones with zero fossil fuel policy will help bring down the pollution level in our cities and give the people the option of breathing cleaner air, something that is the need of the hour.
Anmol Bohre, Managing Director & Co-founder, Enigma
The Government’s steps to further promote electrification, and to come out with Battery Swapping Policy which also includes the concept of energy/battery as a service, will help in developing requisite charging station ecosystem and is positive for the domestic EV space.
Additionally, the sovereign green bonds for funding green infrastructure is a necessity to achieve the low carbon ambition targets set by the country, which would require massive funds at disposal.
Lastly, though the Budget 2022 poses to be promising for the EV segment, the absence of a coherent statement pertaining to the extension of the FAME scheme and by what means can it support the charging network development in India and make a smoother transition to e-vehicles.
Raghav Kalra, Founder, Ignitron Motocorp Pvt. Ltd
The EV industry will have a positive impact for the future growth potential and adoption of electric vehicles in the country, depending on the efficiency of implementation of the new battery policy.
With an increase in electric two-wheeler manufacturers over the past few years, the new policy will further consolidate India's EV infrastructure in near future resulting in faster EV adoption. It will also help in creating new avenues for more companies to venture into the business of battery swapping.
We at Cyborg are also setting up battery swapping and charging stations within a year which will be located at every 1 km. We are glad that the Government has been supportive over the years by introducing new policies, providing subsidies and encouraging the faster adoption of EV's in our country.
Jeetender Sharma MD & Founder, Okinawa Autotech
The Union Budget 2022-23 provides great encouragement for the EV sector. The introduction of the battery swapping policy to improve the country's EV infrastructure is a positive and progressive step that could potentially address the range anxiety issue, which is one of the impediments to a mass-market transition from internal combustion engine-based vehicles to electric vehicles. This policy will be critical in enabling a well-established EV infrastructure across the country while instilling customer confidence in riding EVs on Indian roads. More importantly, this will boost EV adoption in the last-mile delivery space, where time constraints make instant battery swapping more viable than charging the existing battery.
With collective efforts from the government and private players, we are confident to realising the nation's vision of converting all vehicles in India to electric vehicles by 2030. In this regard, we strongly urge the government to roll out EV-charging infrastructure with interoperability standards at all public, private, and strategic locations as soon as possible in order to support both mobility needs and the nation's commitment to reducing emissions.
Yogesh Bhatia, Managing Director & CEO, LML Electric
Clean and sustainable mobility is critical for reducing fossil fuel dependence and combating climate change. We applaud the government's efforts in this area and look forward to seeing concrete steps taken to address the barriers to EV adoption. India's electric power is increasing! Special mobility zones with a zero-fossil-fuel policy will aid in the transition to cleaner technologies and the development of a more sustainable economy. I look forward to seeing the positive impact electric vehicles will have on India and the planet.
Chandresh Sethia, Co-Founder at EVRE
India’s leading integrated EV infrastructure player shared that this budget will set the ball rolling for the holistic development of energy transition and climate action with an eye towards the net-zero commitments.
The announcement on battery policy including battery swapping and charging infrastructure comes at a very opportune time when the country is witnessing steep growth in EV deployment across passenger and commercial mobility.
We expect that the incremental focus on chargers and swapping stations will have a two-pronged impact. On one hand it will help the OEMs with the long-term vision for the sector and enhance investments in the sector; on the other it will help EV users overcome the range-anxiety and instil confidence in comparison to ICE vehicles.
With the budget announcement completed, we can see the emphasis on this year's budget on wider adoption of Electric Vehicles for public as well as private use. While there are no immediate implications for the commercial automobile industry, the budget surely helps boost the EV segment that will help redefine the automobile industry in the medium to long run.
With battery swapping being at the core, this year the aim is to increase EV battery production and development which will provide incentives to the private sector. This will help the auto lubricant industry in India to enter the EV markets as adoption and infrastructure will improve leading to more EVs on the road.
Sandeep Aggarwal, Chairman & CEO, Droom
The battery swapping policy for the electric vehicle will indeed increase the adoption of an electric vehicle for the transportation industry. Finally, this is consistent with the prior announcement of vehicle scrappage and now on EV and focus on developing a 25,000 km of road infrastructure in the fiscal year 2022-23 that will ultimately contribute to the higher adoption of automobiles in the country.
Aravind Sanka, Co-founder, Rapido
Two major takeaways from the budget first are the importance of multimodel public transportation experience with the first mile & last mile as well. As a two-wheeler & three-wheeler ride-sharing company Rapido will play its role encourage multimodel and connecting to public transportation as much as we can. The second one is to increase the EV adoption coming up with the policy and battery swapping I think it's a great move.
Aditi Bhosale Walunj & Chetan Walunj, Founders, Repos Energy
As a start-up working to transform energy distribution to move towards a carbon-neutral future, we are very glad by the emphasis that the Government of India has put on this in the union budget. The infrastructure building through GatiShakti project can work wonders for the nation by aiding industrial and business growth while creating humongous job opportunities.
"Energy as service" that was mentioned in the budget can actually encourage private players in bringing on innovative solutions in the domain of energy generation and distribution and help the nation grow.
Rajib Gangopadhyay, Founder & MD, EMotorad
The introduction of the new battery swapping policy and the decision to formulate interoperability standards by the Government will facilitate the faster rollout of battery swapping centers as well as the widespread implementation of batteries as a service.
This will save time for electric vehicle owners, reduce initial costs and associate that cost to vehicle usage. However, the need of the hour right now is to make electric mobility accessible to the people and the way to do so is through e-bikes, which offer over 60km of range in a single charge and address range anxiety concerns.
We look forward to the next budget and the inclusion of e-bikes in the FAME-II scheme to empower people that cannot choose public transportation as a viable commute option. The addition of a year of tax holiday and benefits to startups in this year’s budget has also boosted the morale of budding entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem.
Saurav Kumar, Founder and CEO, Euler Motors
The budget 2022 is pragmatic that brings thrust on clean technology, encourage a shift in mobility, and achieve decarbonization. These steps will help accelerate growth of EVs across segments.
An EV standardization framework and the formulation of new interoperability standards will allow a faster market penetration for EVs. Further, the proposition towards special mobility zones with a zero fossil fuel policy is a potent initiative towards EV adoption in addition to expansion of charging infrastructure and innovative business models for battery and energy as service in India.
The continued impetus to boost start-up sector growth, with tax extension reforms is also encouraging and welcome, and will aid growth of small businesses, fostering innovation and employment.
Nitin Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder, Attero Recycling
In the Union Budget tabled today, the Hon’ble Finance Minister has announced a slew of measures to further bolster the adoption of EVs in India. Taking into cognisance the constraint of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations, a battery swapping policy has been proposed. It has also been announced that the interoperability standards will be formalised soon.
These steps will not just have a positive impact on the existing players but will also encourage new players that are planning to foray into the segment. We also welcome the government’s decision to issue sovereign Green Bonds in public sector projects to reduce carbon footprint in the economy.
The budget also lays emphasis on transitioning towards a circular economy and touched upon Li-ion battery recycling and Electronic waste management. As the industry grows, we are aligned to play our part in the EV ecosystem by recycling end-of-life Li-ion batteries and helping India be Atmanirbhar in key elements such as Lithium, cobalt, and nickel.