Niti Aayog Set to Strengthen Foundation of Battery Swapping Infrastructure in India

  • Niti Aayog has come up with a framework for encouraging battery swapping ecosystem in the country
  • Policy will encourage the use of Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) batteries
  • Policy will support access to competitive funding
  • Encourage collaboration between battery manufacturers, suppliers, insurer and financers

The Government of India’s apex tank Niti Aayog has come up with a framework for encouraging battery swapping ecosystem, for promoting adoption of Electric Mobility in the country. India is at the inflexion point of e-mobility transformation. All major Indian automakers have started producing the electric vehicles. Looking at the global trend it is evident that e-mobility will further revolutionise by the two-wheeler and three-wheeler vehicle segments. According to the Niti Aayog, Two- Wheeler’s vehicles account for approximately 70-80% of private vehicles whereas Three-Wheelers are crucial for public transit, commercial transport and providing last mile connectivity in the country.

Presently EVs have a fixed battery set up and are charged using the power supply. Charging consumes times and charging infrastructure is not adequately developed. For mass adoption of EV’s it is imperative to have accessible as well as affordable and reliable presence of charging networks in the country.

In India, battery switching is still in its infancy, but it is gaining traction, particularly in commercial and fleet operations. There are already a small number of batteries swapping service providers working with original equipment manufacturers and other important stakeholders to establish swapping ecosystems with compatible components such as batteries, vehicles, and chargers. The national government announced intentions to create a Battery Swapping Policy and interoperability standards in Budget 2022-2023, with the goal of expanding and increasing the efficiency of the battery swapping ecosystem and therefore encouraging EV adoption.

The policy will help to realise the objective by encouraging the adoption of battery swapping technology via Battery as a Service (BaaS) business models, which would result in reduced upfront costs, less downtime, and a smaller footprint. The Policy tackles important technical, legislative, institutional, and finance issues that will aid in the development of battery swapping ecosystems and enable large-scale battery swapping adoption in India. Policy focusses on:

  • Encouraging the use of Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) batteries for decoupling battery costs from the upfront expenditures of acquiring electric vehicles, hence increasing EV adoption by promoting swapping of batteries with ACC batteries
  • Allow EV customers more flexibility by encouraging the development of battery swapping as a viable alternative to charging stations.
  • Establish rules for technical standards that would allow components in a battery swapping ecosystem to communicate with one another without impeding market-driven innovation.
  • To gain access to competitive funding, use policy and regulatory levers to de-risk the battery swapping ecosystem.
  • Encourage collaboration between battery manufacturers, battery suppliers, and other important partners like as insurance and financing, resulting in the establishment of ecosystems capable of supplying integrated services to end users.
  • Encourage better battery lifecycle management, such as maximising battery usage during their usable lifetime and recycling batteries at the end of their useful lives.

Earlier speaking at 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021, PM Modi has shared his vision that India is following and will further develop clear pathways for decarbonizing high greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive sectors. India has committed to go carbon neutral and achieve benchmark of net-zero emissions by 2070. Niti Aayog policy framework is a welcome step in the direction of transitioning India towards Net Zero emission and making India a manufacturing hub in ACC battery space. Further the policy caters to all the aspects of EV ecosystem i.e., from manufacturing to financing to Regulatory support. Battery and charging infra players will set to benefit largely from the policy.

Staff Galactik Views

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