Battery swapping is a method where an electric vehicle owner or user can exchange the existing discharged battery with a charged one at the battery swapping station.
The main part of the electric vehicle is the battery, which cost 40 percent of the initial value. Nowadays electric vehicles are growing tremendously in India and it is becoming prominent, especially in the commercial vehicle space, many industry manufacturers and solution providers are trying to make more affordable, easy-to-use EVs.
Electric vehicle owners always panic about the battery charge which is used in EVs. They are primarily concerned about where to charge the battery on the way he or she travels and how much time it will take to charge in the charging station.
Keep in mind this common problem, many electric vehicle charging solution providers are considering the new method called ‘Battery Swapping’.
Generally, electric vehicles have onboard chargers. The time taken for charging is around an hour for two-wheelers and for four-wheelers it can take up to 6 hours. Hence, this battery swapping method can play a vital role in reducing the owner’s panic as well as charging hectic.
What is Battery Swapping Technology?
Battery Swapping technology is the method where you can change the discharged battery with a fully charged battery or a partially charged battery with a fully charged one. This swap method, where each battery swap takes less than 10 minutes and also required much less space to install compared to the charging station.
Battery swapping is generally convenient for smaller vehicles such as two-wheelers and three-wheelers with smaller batteries that are easier compared to four-wheelers as well as e-buses.
Advantages of Battery Swapping
Battery swapping offers 3(three) main advantages relative to charging. They are
Normally 2 wheelers and 3-wheelers take at least an hour to charge with existing technologies adding to inconvenience and creating range anxiety. So, the downtime of the electric vehicle is significant for freight and shared mobility vehicles. Whereas, the battery swapping is taken less than 10 minutes, as the batteries are pre-charged in stations.
An alternative method such as charging stations, as of now, requires large space because the vehicles need to be parked next to the charger during charging. But in the battery swapping method, take smaller space as it stacks multiple batteries on top of each other and does not require large space for parking.
3. Cost Efficient
Battery swapping falls under the umbrella of Battery-as-a-Service(BaaS) business models which offers EV owners to buy an EV without the battery. This significantly reduces the cost of the vehicle and pays a regular subscription fee method (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) to solution providers for battery service.
Battery Swapping Companies or Solution Providers in India
As the EV industry is growing significantly in India, many private companies are trying to penetrate the market in the battery segment as well as charging solutions for electric vehicles. Some of them are-
- Amara Raja batteries Ltd.
- Amplify Cleantech Solution Pvt. Ltd.
- Esmito Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
- Lithion Power Pvt. Ltd. etc.
What is Battery-as-a-Service (Baas)?
It separates the electric vehicle and its battery by enabling the use of the battery as a service, without battery ownership. BaaS can be applicable for fixed and swappable batteries.
What is Battery Charging Station (BCS)?
It means a station where electric batteries for EVs are electrically charged. This charging station also offers fast charging capabilities.
What is Swappable Battery (SB)?
It shall mean an ACC battery used in a battery-powered electric vehicle that can be easily detached and interchanged with another same category battery.
What is Fixed Battery (FB)?
It shall mean a battery that remains associated with a particular electric vehicle till the end.
What is Battery Swapping Station (BSS)?
It is a station or place where an electric vehicle can exchange the discharged battery with a charged one or partially charged with a fully charged one.
What are Public BSS and Public BCS?
Public BSS is the place where batteries can be swapped for private or commercial electric vehicles. Public BCS can serve exclusively for the EVs owned or under the control of the owner of the BSS and is not accessible to other EVs with swappable batteries.
Battery Swapping is still young in India but gaining some ground, especially for commercial and fleet operations. Now there are only a few battery swapping service providers that have been engaging with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and individual/ commercial users. The Indian government announced plans to introduce a Battery Swapping Policy soon.