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Key Takeaways from Draft Battery Swapping Policy According to some latest news reports, the government is likely to notify EV Battery Swapping Policy in the next 15 to 30 days

By S Shanthi

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Battery swapping technology reduces the upfront cost of an electric vehicle (EV) by almost half and it also reduces the time to charge the vehicle. These are some of the many reasons behind the increasing demand for battery swapping technology across the globe. For the uninitiated, battery swapping means replacing discharged batteries or partially charged batteries of EVs by charged batteries manually or mechanically.

The global electric vehicle battery swapping market size is expected to hit around $ 857.6 million by 2030 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 23.85 per cent over the forecast period 2022 to 2030, says the Precedence Research.

India is also bracing for the same to promote faster adoption of EVs. During Budget 2022-2023, the government announced plans to introduce a Battery Swapping Policy and interoperability standards. The idea was to build and improve the efficiency of the battery swapping ecosystem and thereby drive EV adoption.

In April this year, NITI Aayog released a draft battery swapping policy for the EV industry and according to some latest news reports, the government is likely to notify EV Battery Swapping Policy in the next 15 to 30 days. Battery swapping offers three key advantages relative to charging: it is time, space, and cost-efficient, provided each swappable battery is actively used, the government think tank said in the draft.

"Battery swapping is still nascent in India but gaining ground, especially for commercial and fleet operations. There are currently a limited number of battery swapping service providers that have been engaging with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), individual/commercial users, and other relevant stakeholders, to develop ecosystems of swapping services with compatible components (batteries, vehicles, chargers, etc.) within each ecosystem," said the draft.

Here are some more key takeaways from the draft battery swapping policy for the EV industry.

Who fits the bill

The Policy will only support batteries using "Advanced Chemistry Cells" (ACC), with performance that is equivalent or superior to EV batteries supported under the FAME-II scheme. Additional specifications or standards for batteries eligible under this Policy shall be applied from time to time, based on relevant policies and schemes in practice.

Battery providers must demonstrate end-to-end compatibility between batteries and other components of the swapping ecosystem, all of which must be certified under appropriate processes defined or referred to under Section 5.2. of this Policy.

Unique Identification Number

To implement unique traceability across the battery lifecycle, a Unique Identification Number (UIN) shall be assigned at the manufacturing stage for tracking and monitoring EV batteries.

"Various tracking and tracing solutions are used in different industry sectors, and an appropriate system may be applied for EV batteries which is tamper-proof and allows centralized monitoring," it said.

The standard or generic methodology and the detailed definition of the UIN system for EV batteries will be developed by the relevant authorities. Similarly, a UIN number will be assigned to each Battery Swapping Station.

Safety aspects

Batteries shall be tested and certified as per AIS 156 (2020) and AIS 038 Rev 2 (2020) standards for safety of traction battery packs, as well as additional tests that may be prescribed for swappable batteries which are subject to multiple coupling/ decoupling processes at the connectors.

The Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) used at the swapping station must be tested and approved by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) or agency appointed by the central nodal agency for battery swapping.

To ensure battery safety and security of assets, swappable batteries will be equipped with advanced features like IoT-based battery monitoring systems, remote monitoring & immobilization capabilities, and other required control features.

S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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