What is India’s Upcoming Battery Swap Policy for Electric Vehicles? 5 Things to Know

Battery Swap Policy for Electric Vehicles

The Union Budget of February 2022 proposed standardisation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries to make them compatible with all vehicles using swap stations. The policy is expected to be finalised this month.

India is one of the world’s largest two-wheeler markets and is in the process to electrify the industry. But lack of charging stations is posing a hurdle to this move.

To provide uniformity to the charging mechanism, a nationwide battery-swapping policy for electric two and three-wheelers is going to be finalised in the country later this month.

electric vehicle
Representational image

So, here are five things you should know about this policy which will change the face of India’s automobile industry:

1. First proposed in the budget of February 2022:

The idea of the Union government to standardise the size of batteries to make them compatible with all vehicles using swap stations was first proposed in the federal budget of February 2022. The thought received a mixed response from the automotive industry and the public.

2. No immediate introduction:

The proposal of using standardised batteries for swap stations needs close coordination among swapping-point operators. This can’t be achieved immediately and is more like a long-term goal. But the initial activities are expected to begin by the end of this year.

3. Cutting down CO2 emissions:

The ultimate goal of this policy is to cut down one million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and turn net carbon zero by the year 2070. This decade is crucial in reaching this goal.

4. Who is responsible?

The policy will be implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Removal of disbursed batteries and replacing them with fresh ones within minutes is the task involved which requires coordination from different fields. However, the Ministry doesn’t adhere to using the same type of cells to promote innovation in the field.

5. Type of battery packs:

As per the upcoming rules, it is preferred to use batteries weighing not more than 10 kg with a capacity of 1 KW/ hour. This would be easy for a person to handle and lessen the anxiety of delivery persons who use the vehicle most. Also, the cell format must be cylindrical.

The Ministry and industry are expecting that around 30 per cent of the vehicles sold in the country would be electric by 2030. But this mostly includes two and three-wheelers. Subsidies have been increased for the purchase of EVs by the government.

However, certain battery developers and scooter manufacturers are against these standardisations fearing that this will lead to a slowdown in innovation which otherwise is rapidly growing.

Sources:

“India Said Close to Finalising Nationwide Battery-Swap Details”, published by Bloomberg on 1 July 2022.

“India close to finalising a nationwide battery-swap policy for electric vehicles”, published by LiveMint on 2 July 2022.

“India close to finalising incentives under new battery swap scheme – source”, published by Reuters on 3 February 2022.

Edited by Yoshita Rao

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