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Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery Swapping Policy

Context:

NITI Aayog is holding a consultation on the upcoming electric vehicle (EV) battery swapping policy.

Relevance:

GS III- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What is battery swapping?
  2. How will the Battery Swapping Policy work?
  3. Advantages of Battery Swapping
  4. Barriers  to Battery Swapping
  5. About Electric Vehicles:
  6. National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020

What is battery swapping?

  • Battery swapping or battery-as-a-service allows EV owners to replace the discharged batteries with charged ones at the swap stations.
  • When the battery is discharged, the owner can change it with a fully charged one. 

How will the Battery Swapping Policy work?

  • The policy is likely to focus on battery swap services for three-wheeled auto rickshaws and two-wheelers such as electric scooters and motorcycles. 
  • Under the policy, EV owners may get incentives of up to 20% on the subscription or lease cost of the battery. 

Advantages of Battery Swapping

  • It will address the problem of setting up charging stations and also reduce range anxiety of drivers.
  • It can help EV owners save the cost of purchasing a battery. 
  • It is less time consuming and takes only a few minutes compared to charging at a battery station which could take hours. 
  • It also requires minimum infrastructure.

Barriers  to Battery Swapping

  • High Cost of Battery (Batteries account for close to 60% of the cost for an e-two-wheeler)
  • Lack of standardization among batteries
  • Unsuitable battery pack design
  • Higher GST on separate batteries (18% versus 5% for EVs) 

About Electric Vehicles:

  • The earlier guidelines and standards were issued by the Ministry of Power in December 2018 and will be superseded by the new guidelines.
  • Lack of charging infrastructure is one of the main reasons behind poor adoption of electric mobility in India.
  • According to a survey by the Economic Times in May 2019, with appropriate infrastructure is in place, 90% car owners in India are willing to switch to EVs.
  • Under the NEMMP 2020, there is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles by the year 2020.
  • At present, EV market penetration is only 1% of total vehicle sales in India, and of that, 95% of sales are electric two-wheelers.

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020:

  • It is a National Mission document by Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • As part of the NEMMP 2020, Scheme named Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) was launched in the year 2015 to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.
  • The Phase-I of this Scheme (FAME I) was initially launched for a period of 2 years and was implemented through four focus areas:
    • Demand Creation,
    • Technology Platform,
    • Pilot Project
    • Charging Infrastructure.
  • FAME II
    • It was launched in March 2019 for a period of 3 years.
    • The main objective of the scheme is to encourage faster adoption of electric and hybrid vehicle by way of offering upfront incentive on purchase of electric vehicles and also by establishing the necessary charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

-Source: Livemint

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