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New Battery Swapping Policy Incoming, May Make EVs More Affordable!

Modified On Feb 28, 2022 12:19 PM By Praveen M. for Revolt RV400

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With the upcoming battery swapping policy, consumers will be able to buy EVs without battery pack, thereby reducing the upfront costs considerably

The Indian Government’s public policy think tank Niti Aayog is set to come up with a battery swapping policy in the next three to four months, which will reportedly give prospective EV customers the option to buy an EV without a battery pack, thus massively reducing the upfront cost. 

As per Niti Aayog’s plans in the first phase, the swappable battery system will cater to light electric vehicles, which includes electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers. This model will be similar to Bounce, where the Infinity E1 is sold both with and without the battery pack. Besides, buying an electric scooter without the battery pack will make it considerably more affordable as batteries contribute to a huge chunk of an electric two-wheeler’s total price. This will also make electric two-wheelers a lot more approachable in terms of pricing.

In the Bounce Infinity E1, the cost per swap is Rs 35. Considering a real-world range of around 65km per charge, a person would ideally need 10 swaps per month under a normal use case. That means, the swap cost for a year will be Rs 4,200. In Delhi, the Infinity E1 is available for as low as Rs 45,099, without the battery pack. So for a year, it will cost just Rs 49,299 to buy and run the electric scooter. In comparison, the ex-showroom (Delhi) price of a typical ICE scooter, say, a Honda Activa 6G costs 70,599. The on-road price is around Rs 82,000, and this coupled with the petrol costs will make the scooter a lot more expensive to run than the Bounce Infinity E1. So theoretically, for the same initial investment (for the first year) as the Honda Activa 6G, you can buy and run the Infinity E1 for over seven years.

Battery swapping may not be as popular in developed markets, but for the Indian electric two-wheeler segment, it does make a lot more sense if implemented on a large scale. It is suitable in places where parking is an issue, considering swapping does not take as long as fast charging. More importantly, it also reduces the down time drastically as the time taken to swap is just a few minutes compared to fast charging, which will take several minutes at the very least.

Hero MotoCorp has already teamed up with Gogoro to bring out an electric scooter with swappable battery tech. Expect the Hero electric scooter to be launched next month. Even Honda is working on an electric scooter with swappable battery tech. It is evident that the big players are embracing this technology. 

And with the Indian Government making its intentions clear about swappable battery technology, expect other two-wheeler makers, who are making e-scooters with fast-charging tech, to also jump into this space. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see a manufacturer like Bajaj Auto bringing out a Chetak 2.0 with a swappable battery system. Moreover, the government also intends to formulate inter-operability standards, which helps in making the transition to swappable battery systems even smoother. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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