What is Battery Swapping?
Battery swapping is an alternative that involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones. Battery swapping de-links the vehicle and fuel (in this case, the battery) and thereby leads to a reduction in the upfront cost of the vehicles.
Battery swapping is popularly used for smaller vehicles, such as two- and three-wheelers, which have smaller batteries that are easier to swap compared to other automotive segments where the same can be implemented mechanically.
Battery swapping offers three key advantages relative to charging—time-saving, space-efficient, and cost-effective—provided each swappable battery is actively used. Further, Battery swapping provides a level playing field to innovative and sustainable business models, such as ‘Battery as a Service’.
Considering the constraint of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations at scale, the Hon’ble Finance Minister in her Budget Speech of 2022–23 announced that the Union Government will introduce a Battery Swapping Policy and interoperability standards to improve efficiency in the EV ecosystem.
In this regard, NITI Aayog held an inter-ministerial discussion to formulate a robust and comprehensive battery swapping policy framework in February 2022.
NITI also held an extensive pre-draft stakeholder discussion with a wide spectrum of stakeholders representing battery swapping operators, battery manufacturers, vehicle OEMs, financial institutions, CSOs, think tanks and other experts.
After due deliberations and taking cognizance of all the inputs provided by relevant stakeholders, NITI Aayog has prepared the draft Battery Swapping Policy.