Why in news ?
- Niti Aayog has released draft Battery Swapping Policy on 20th April 2022 and has invited comments on it until June 5.
- The draft policy has highlighted the key areas which the centre’s approach towards facilitating a strong EV battery swapping infrastructure will be based around.
What is battery swapping?
- Battery swapping is a mechanism that involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones.
- This provides the flexibility to charge these batteries separately by de-linking charging and battery usage.
- It keeps the vehicle in operational mode with negligible downtime.
- Battery swapping is generally used for smaller vehicles such as two-wheelers and three-wheelers with smaller batteries .
- Although solutions are emerging for these larger segments as well.
Some of the key Proposals
- GST Council consider reducing the differential across the tax rates on Lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicle supply equipment.
- Currently, the tax rate on the former is 18 per cent, and 5 per cent on the latter.
- Same incentives available to electric vehicles that come pre-equipped with a fixed battery to electric vehicles with swappable batteries.
- Size of the incentive could be determined based on the kWh (kilowatt hour) rating of the battery and compatible EV.
- State governments to ensure public battery charging stations are eligible for EV power connections with concessional tariffs.
- Municipal corporations will be responsible for planning, zoning permissions and land allocation for battery swapping stations.
- The policy also proposes to assign a Unique Identification Number (UIN) to swappable batteries at the manufacturing stage to help track and monitor them.
- It also proposes to install battery swapping stations at several locations like-
- Retail fuel outlets, public parking areas, malls, kirana shops and general stores etc.
Battery-as-a-service (BaaS) model
- Such models would have to ensure interoperability between EVs and batteries for a successful mainstreaming of battery swapping.
- Major battery providers will be encouraged to sign data-sharing agreements.
- The policy will only support batteries using Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC), with performance that is equivalent or superior to EV batteries supported under the government’s FAME-II scheme.
About EV safety
- To ensure a high level of protection at the electrical interface, a rigorous testing protocol will be adopted.
- Batteries shall be tested and certified as per AIS 156 (2020) and AIS 038 Rev 2 (2020) standards for safety of traction battery packs.
- Swappable batteries will have to be equipped with advanced features like IoT-based battery monitoring systems, remote monitoring and immobilisation capabilities.
- All metropolitan cities with a population of more than 40 lakh will be prioritized under the first phase.
- It will be within 1-2 years of the draft policy getting finalised.
- Other major cities such as state capitals with a population greater than 5 lakh will be covered under the second phase.
- The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the Central Nodal Agency responsible for the rollout of EV public charging infrastructure.
- Battery Providers shall receive the subsidy and subsidies may be linked to the UIN of EVs.