Battery-swapping policy in electric vehicles may surface by Jan end

The battery-swapping policy was first proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the previous budget.

Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on January 3 held a meeting with stakeholders in the electric vehicles industry to decide on a common form, shape, and size of the battery, and work towards finalising the draft battery-swapping policy by the end of January.

According to a CNBC TV18 report, the meeting concluded that more stakeholder consultations are necessary before a definitive decision can be made about battery swapping standards.

The battery-swapping policy was first proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the previous budget.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had asserted that battery-swapping as a concept was formulated to address all the challenges by promoting various technologies and business models which would ensure lower upfront costs, minimal downtime, and lower space requirements for charging the batteries, according to a report by the Economic Times.

According to another report by Business Standard, Debi Prasad Dash, executive director at India Energy Storage Alliance and secretary at India Electric Mobility Council (IEMC), said if all batteries are of similar size, weight, and design, unprofessional manufacturers will fill the market with substandard alternatives.

“Standardisation will make it difficult for serious battery players to analyse their batteries’ performance and will halt their research and development,” said Dash.

Separately, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said, “More consultations are required to be held with all stakeholders before a final decision can be arrived at on issues involved.”

The next round of the stakeholders’ meeting to address various sticking points will be held soon, said a government official, the report added.

In April 2022, the Aayog released the draft battery-swapping policy after Sitharaman’s announcement in her 2022-23 Budget speech.

According to the draft, additional standards and specifications for batteries regarding battery pack dimensions, charging connectors, etc. were to be notified over time with adequate notice to, and consultation with, industry stakeholders, to support a phased transition to interoperability between ecosystems.

The draft policy is aimed at helping India achieve its net-zero target by 2070. Although efforts are underway to boost the availability of charging infrastructure, battery swapping is an alternative which involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones and providing the flexibility to charge them separately, the BS report further stated.

In November 2022, the Centre’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and green think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) collaborated to create a platform that will support the development of new EV batteries to suit Indian requirements.

Source: moneycontrol

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