Centre allows registration, sale of EVs without pre-fitted battery2 min read . Updated: 12 Aug 2020, 09:13 PM IST
With India striving to create an ecosystem to encourage adoption of electric mobility, the latest step is expected reduce its upfront cost, as compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted vehicles. Battery in an EV accounts for 30-40% of its cost
The union road transport and highways ministry has asked states to allow registration and sale of electric vehicles (EVs) without pre-fitted battery, in what may reduce the cost of such vehicles and also encourage the use of swappable batteries.
With India striving to create an ecosystem to encourage adoption of electric mobility, the latest step is expected reduce its upfront cost, as compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted vehicles. Battery in an EV accounts for 30-40% of its cost. Adoption of electric mobility will also reduce vehicular pollution and reduce dependence on oil import.
The battery can be provided separately by an original equipment manufacturer or an energy service provider.
In a letter to transport secretaries of all states and union territories, the ministry said that vehicles without batteries can be sold and registered after getting an approval certificate issued by a test agency. There is also no need to specify the type or any other details of the battery for vehicle registration. “However, the prototype of the electrical vehicle, and the battery (regular battery or the swappable battery) is required to be type approved by the test agencies," the letter said. Mint has seen a copy of the letter.
“For the promotion of electrical two wheelers and three wheeler vehicles, there are recommendations brought to the notice of the Ministry to delink the cost of battery (which accounts for 30-40% of the total cost) from the vehicle cost. Vehicles could then also be sold in the market without the battery. This will make the upfront cost of the electrical 2 wheeler (2W) and 3 wheelers (3W) to be lower than ICE 2 and 3W," it said.
The development comes at a time when the India is still struggling to push adoption of electric as it is more expensive, and lack of charging infrastructure. The adoption of battery swapping will also reduce the time needed to charge EVs, an industry official said.
“Battery swapping has been a successful model in some South-East Asian nations such as Taiwan. The model is not prevalent in India as the government did not allow registration of electric vehicles without its battery," the official said, adding that the latest step is likely to benefit the two wheeler segment in the urban areas the most.
Currently, host of new entrants, both domestic and foreign, are working on creating an ecosystem of swappable batteries such as Chetan Maini-led Sun Mobility, Gurgaon-based Exicom Power Solutions and 22 Kymco, an alliance between startup Twenty Two Motors Pvt. Ltd and Taiwan’s Kymco Global.