Battery Swapping: How India Is Accelerating The Adoption Of EVs

In the coming years, the market for electric two-wheelers in India will expand due to extensive research and developments in charging infrastructure, road infrastructure, and increased battery capacity and efficiency

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Global adoption of electric vehicles is being driven by growing worries about how transportation emissions are causing climate change. Rising oil prices and climatic adversity have prompted countries to turn to electrification as a solution. As a result, electric mobility is gaining significance globally. India is also at an important stage where the technology of electric vehicles is being discussed and is making efforts to accelerate its adoption. At COP21, the nation made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 33–55% below 2005 levels by 2030. To reach its goal, India's national mission for electric mobility has been advancing quickly in recent years.

The government of India has also come up with several schemes, including FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in India) II subsidies, state government subsidies, PMP (Phased Manufacturing Programme) and PLI (Production Linked Incentive) schemes, and more, in order to promote the transition. According to a Niti Aayog report, India has set a national goal of 30% EV sales by 2030 and has also launched the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to support the localization of EV component manufacturing. With policies, regulations, subsidies, and support, India is taking the initiative in accelerating the adoption of EVs.

India’s take on EV adoption

As the government's support, policies, and programmes began to bear fruit, electric vehicle (EV) sales in India surpassed a record 10 lakh units in 2022. Compared to the 322,877 units sold in 2021, this represented an increase of more than 300%. Among the total number of EV sales, 2W is dominating the market owing to a number of factors.

According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), sales of electric two-wheelers has reached 6 lakh units in 2022. Among them, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) dominated the 2-wheeler EV market. With continuous growth similar to this, the Indian electric two-wheeler market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 29.07% and reach USD 1,028.04 million by 2028, according to a Market and Markets Research report. In the coming years, the market for electric two-wheelers in India will expand due to extensive research and developments in charging infrastructure, road infrastructure, and increased battery capacity and efficiency.

Furthermore, with processes such as battery swapping, India has found its way to faster adoption of EVs. It could accelerate India's efforts to cut transportation-related emissions and increase the country's electric footprint.

Battery swapping: a game changer for EVs

Battery swapping is a method that involves switching out discharged batteries for charged ones. For vehicles with smaller batteries, such as E2Ws, the batteries are simpler to swap out than those in other automotive segments, making this method practical for them. When compared to charging, battery swapping has several advantages.

Saves time: The current charging time for two- and three-wheeler batteries is three to four hours. Despite having faster charging options, they still have an hour-long downtime. With this method, customer waiting time will be reduced, as battery swapping takes only a few minutes.

Adjusts in less space: Another advantage of battery swapping is that it can be accomplished in compact spaces and can even be set up as standalone entities, which could help solve the problem of installing large charging infrastructure in urban areas with limited space. This approach will not only lower the initial cost of EVs but also open the door to more widespread use cases of EVs across consumer segments.

Lowers cost: By offering batteries as a service that requires a monthly subscription, battery swapping aims to reduce the upfront cost associated with buying an EV. This will also allow other players, like battery suppliers, access to the market. Due to the high cost of EVs with batteries, the government must frequently announce incentives for both manufacturing and purchasing EVs.

Reduces range anxiety: Range anxiety is primarily a driver's concern that their battery may die before getting to their destination. This problem is addressed by battery swapping because it takes less time and effort to change batteries. Furthermore, once the infrastructure is ready, the anxiety will further reduce. 

Way Forward

The government has recently published a draft of an EV battery swap policy to encourage battery swapping. It is also looking for locations for new swapping and charging stations along Indian highways and cities. In order to foster a self-sufficient EV ecosystem, there is a need to establish a relationship between the government, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and technology start-ups. There is also a pressing need for investments in startups to further push ongoing R&D to build a robust infrastructure in India. Battery swapping could develop into a sufficient, affordable, accessible, and reliable alternative if major market players continue to support this change.

Observing this widespread potential and growth factors, several home-grown startups such as RunR Mobility are becoming more interested and are penetrating newly created markets with their cutting-edge solutions, which could accelerate adoption further. RunR Mobility is prepared to revolutionise the EV industry with two ground-breaking models that are intended to transform large businesses and meet people's daily mobility needs. RunR Mobility is equipped with the necessary infrastructure and technology and is competing for dominance in the field of swappable batteries with a design based on swappable batteries and reliable charging infrastructure.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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