India Close To Finalizing Battery Swapping Program For Electric Two-Wheelers And Three-Wheelers

A file photo of Hero Electric Scooter

According to a source, India will release the final details of its nationwide battery-swapping program for electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers later this month.

The 40-page document outlines the key features of the program that was first proposed in the federal budget in February. It is the government’s desire for standardizing the size and compatibility of all swap station vehicles. The document states that India will not immediately implement standard batteries for swap stations because it would require “close coordination” between swapping-point operators. However, this is the long-term goal.

In just minutes, batteries can be replaced with new ones. This could help India accelerate its push to electrify the largest two-wheeler market in the world. The lack of charging stations is a major obstacle to EV adoption. India must switch to cleaner transport if it is to reach its goal of reducing 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 and becoming net carbon neutral by 2070.

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Representatives of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways were responsible for the implementation of the policy but didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

Battery swapping in India is mostly used by electric scooters, electric rickshaws and other e-commerce delivery vehicles. According to consultancy Arthur D. Little, electric vehicles will account for about 30% of India’s total vehicle sales by 2030. However, they will mainly be two- or three-wheelers. Electric passenger cars will only make up about 5% of total EV sales by 2030.

The government launched bulk procurement tenders and increased subsidies for the purchase of electric two-wheelers. To boost domestic EV production, the government has offered 259 billion rupees in the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme.

According to the document that was drafted by around 100 stakeholders, India will not force the use of the same kind of cell as before in order to allow for innovation in battery technology.

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However, it would be preferable if the battery packs weighed less than 10 kilograms so that they aren’t too heavy for anyone to use and have a minimum of 1-kilowatt hour capacity. They should have a cylindrical format, and chemistries such as nickel manganese cobalt and lithium iron phosphate.

A number of scooter manufacturers and battery pack developers have been against standardization, a person with knowledge said. The person stated that they worry that interoperability could slow down innovation given the speed at which technology is changing.

One reason that some scooter manufacturers oppose standardization is the fact that battery design is a significant part of how an electric two-wheeler or three-wheeler is built. And, most importantly, it is how a brand distinguishes itself, the person stated.

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