Raj is an IT employee who wants to do his fair share of contribution to the environment and sustainability. With a noble intention, the least he could do was to own an Electric Vehicle (EV) and he uses it to commute to work and back home. The EV gives a mileage of 60 km in a single charge. Every time he goes out on his EV, he must calculate the distance to travel with the battery life of his EV. This range anxiety is quite bothersome for Raj as he cannot step out without making a note of the battery level and/or calculating the distance he must travel.
There are many like Raj who own environmentally friendly green vehicles but more than being happy that they are contributing their part to a greener and safer ecosystem, a little hesitation to go for that extra mile and a little bit of worry about the battery life always runs at the back of their mind. This range anxiety is the primary reason that hinders many potential buyers from ditching their polluting petrol/ diesel vehicles for a greener, clean vehicle. The manufacturers too, lose a large chunk of customer base because of range anxiety in customers. If the manufacturers can find a solution to this one problem, more and more people will opt for EVs, and with the increase in sales not only the manufacturers breathe easy, but we the general public too, will get a chance to breathe fresh air!
One solution to the problem would be to have a charging station, just like petrol bunks, scattered across the city. But then, getting petrol filled in your vehicle is, at the most, a five-minute job whereas charging your vehicle at a charging station would require at least an hour of your time. So, it is not only time-consuming but also practically not feasible. Consumers lookout for a fast and easy way to replenish their drained batteries.
Good news came in the form of the 2022 Budget where the Finance Minister, Nirmala Seetharaman, announced a battery swapping policy that aims to nurture the electric vehicle ecosystem. The Minister stated that considering the constraint of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations at scale, a battery swapping policy will be brought out and interoperability standards will be formulated. The private sector will be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative business models for “Battery or Energy as a Service”. This will improve efficiency in the EV ecosystem. This is in fact good news to both the EV industry as well as the consumers. While the consumers can totally forget about the range anxiety, the manufacturers can look for increased sales.
Now let us look at one major hurdle in the scheme. To begin with, none of the EV makers would want to share their technology with others to arrive at a common interchangeable technology like batteries. Unless the government insists on the use of one common battery design across all-electric vehicles makers and defines the standards for battery firmly, this scheme will not move forward. Let’s hope that the government will succeed in bringing all the EV makers to fall in line with the common interchangeable battery technology.
The government is expected to come out with an incentive scheme under this new battery swap scheme for EVs in the next two months. The government will also define the standards for battery design and charging which will ensure interoperability across different manufacturers of EVs. This will give the EV industry much needed to boost encouraging investors to set up battery swapping stations.
This initiative has already seen light in the Taiwanese market where they have standardized batteries for the two-wheeled electric vehicles. But a major success story in this realm is the Japanese consortium of vehicle OEMs coming together to make batteries and replacement systems that can be swapped between all the electric motorcycles of the members. This private consortium, which came together exclusively of the Japanese Government’s involvement has reached an agreement to allow battery sharing across their brands. Read more
This success story could be an example of how big players in the Indian EV industry along with the Government’s support can pave the way for increased adoption of electric vehicles in the country. With the majority of the Indian automobile makers welcoming the Battery swap scheme, things look bright for the increased adoption of EVs in near future.
How far are you in this journey to the next revolution!! Now drive Easy and Eco-friendly with EVs!!