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Battery Swapping Or Rapid Charging What Is Better

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The Observation

  • EVs currently account for less than 3% of all vehicles sold in India. 80% of the volume of EVs sold are 2W/3W.
  • However, the government has brought various measures to develop and promote the EV ecosystem like
    • National Electric Mobility Mission
    • FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles)
    • PLI for auto manufacturing
    • PLI for battery manufacturing
    • e-AMRIT portal

Why so much focus on EVs?

  • GHG emission & Pollution
  • Paris Climate agreement targets
  • Import bill reduction
  • Long term benefits
    • Low Maintenance
    • Cost effective
    • Reduced noise pollution

The Problem

NITI Aayog’s Draft BS Policy

  1. 2W & 3W vehicles account for 70-80 percent of vehicles in the country
  2. 2W & 3W vehicles are cost-competitive with an internal combustion engine (ICE)
  3. 2W & 3W vehicle batteries are wheelers are easier to swap

Issues with Battery Swapping?

  1. Will companies invest in Battery Swapping stations?
  2. High operating cost of BS stations.
  • Weighty Batteries
  • Large Inventory
  • Large area for BS stations
  1. What about Battery depreciation?
  2. Battery swapping standards?
  3. Battery swapping station safety norms?

International Experience

  • Idea of Battery Swapping is not new.
    1. German company Mercedes-Benz tried it in the 1970s but it did not succeed.
    2. Israeli company Better Place introduced it in 2007 but it went bankrupt.
    3. American company Tesla tried it in 2013 with a modular design for its car but later opted for its own proprietary cable-based charging system.
    4. Chinese included BS technology in the ‘national new energy vehicle development strategy 2021 to 2035’ (Testing on BS started in 2010).

Is charging station easy solution?

Battery Swapping or Charging Station

  • Battery Swapping/Leasing can make better commercial sense if and when it is combined with fast-charging, which in turn could provide
    1. Lower capital blockage
    2. Better safety
    3. Balanced & viable infrastructure network for both charging & swapping




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