What is Battery Swapping Policy and how does it work for electric vehicles?
Battery Swapping Policy: While presenting her Budget 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman announced the introduction of a battery swapping policy to boost the EV ecosystem. The Government think tank NITI Aayog has now proposed to roll out a 'battery swapping policy' to give an option to electric vehicle buyers to not own the battery. This would bring down the cost of electric vehicles and will upscale their adoption shortly.
“I am confident that electric vehicles will be cheaper than ICE engine vehicles in the near future," NITI Aayog Chief Executive Amitabh Kant said.
He added that in the initial phase, the focus will be to cater to light electric vehicles in which plugging and playing the batteries from the vehicles to the battery swapping stations is easy.
The proposed policy will introduce disruptive business models such as battery as a service (BaaS), leasing, and so forth so that electric vehicle owners need not own the battery, which is about 50% of the total vehicle cost, bringing down the upfront vehicle cost much below its ICE counterparts.
Furthermore, the EV owners will get up to a 20% incentive on the subscription or lease cost of the battery. These will be over and above those given for buying clean vehicles.
Earlier this month, NITI Aayog held the first pre-draft stakeholder discussion where participants included vehicle OEMs, battery OEMs, financiers, think tanks, multimodal agencies, and independent experts and consultants.
According to experts, the battery swapping policy, if implemented within the next 2-3 months, will scale up the electric vehicle ecosystem in India. Also, the batteries should be standardised.
Government schemes such as FAME-2 and PLI have played a crucial role in bringing down EV prices and giving a push for faster EV deployment.
What is meant by Battery Swapping?
Battery swapping allows the owners of electric vehicles to swap their discharged batteries with the charged ones at the swapping stations within minutes, thereby bringing down the range anxiety, battery replacement cost, and other challenges.
How does battery swapping work for EVs?
The customers will be able to visit the outlet of the energy operator, lease the charged batteries and pay for the energy consumed. The concept is similar to the use of LPG cylinders by consumers.
These operators will purchase the batteries in bulk and set up stations similar to petrol pumps to help EV owners swap their drained batteries. However, while ICE vehicles can be refilled at any petrol pump, the EV owners will have to ink an agreement with energy operators to swap batteries.