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Current Affairs

Niti Aayog’s draft battery swapping policy

Date: 23 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A draft battery swapping policy has been prepared by Government policy think-tank Niti Aayog.

 

Background

The proposal includes incentivizing electric vehicles (EVs) with swappable batteries and extending subsidies to companies manufacturing swappable batteries.

 

Details

  • The battery swap policy is said to reduce upfront costs of purchasing EVs and drive adoption among buyers. 

  • The policy has been primarily focused for battery swapping systems used in electric scooters and three-wheeler electric rickshaws. 

 

Battery swapping

  • Battery swapping process involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones. 

  • This allows the vehicle to be operational continuously without waiting for recharging process.

  • Currently, the process is being used for smaller electric vehicles such as bikes and e-rickshaws as swapping batteries of four wheelers and buses is complicated.

 

Key proposals

  • GST council should consider reducing tax rates on Lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicle supply equipment. 

  • The policy aims to provide same incentives of vehicle with fixed batteries to those with swappable batteries.

  • Signing of contacts between EV users and battery providers to ensure they continue to provide battery swapping services after subsidy is received.

 

Infrastructure

  • State governments should allow setting up public battery charging stations at various locations with concessions on tariffs.

  • State transport department should ensure registration processes for vehicles sold without batteries or for vehicles with battery swapping functionality.

  • To track and monitor swappable batteries, a unique identification number (UIN) should be assigned to the batteries.

 

Challenges for swapping model

  • There should be interoperability between EVs and batteries

  • Tracking health and performance of batteries to prevent fire incidents

 

Safety of EVs

  • A rigorous testing protocol will be adopted to ensure a high level of protection at the electrical interface.

  • A certified battery management system has to be checked and adopted to monitor batter function.

 

Adoption

  • The policy will first be implemented in all metropolitan cities with a population of more than 40 lakh in the first phase.

  • In the second phase, state capitals with a population greater than 5 lakh will be covered.