Defined: What are the important thing proposals in Niti Aayog’s draft battery swapping coverage?


Authorities think-tank Niti Aayog has ready a draft battery swapping coverage, below which it has proposed providing incentives to electrical autos (EVs) with swappable batteries, subsidies to firms manufacturing swappable batteries, a brand new battery-as-a-service enterprise mannequin, and requirements for interoperable batteries, amongst different measures.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had introduced throughout this 12 months’s Union Finances that the federal government was set to roll out a battery swapping coverage, in a bid to scale back upfront prices of buying EVs and drive adoption amongst consumers. It additionally comes amid a number of cases of EVs erupting into flames, elevating issues about their security.

The coverage is focused at supporting the adoption of battery-swapping, primarily for battery swapping techniques utilized in electrical scooters and three-wheeler electrical rickshaws. The draft is up for session, and the Niti Aayog has invited feedback on it till June 5.

What’s battery swapping?

Battery swapping is a mechanism that entails exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones. This supplies the pliability to cost these batteries individually by de-linking charging and battery utilization, and retains the car in operational mode with negligible downtime. Battery swapping is mostly used for smaller autos similar to two-wheelers and three-wheelers with smaller batteries which can be simpler to swap, in comparison with four-wheelers and e-buses, though options are rising for these bigger segments as nicely.

What are a few of the key proposals?

The draft coverage has urged that the GST Council contemplate decreasing the differential throughout the tax charges on Lithium-ion batteries and electrical car provide tools. Presently, the tax price on the previous is eighteen per cent, and 5 per cent on the latter.

The coverage additionally proposes to supply the identical incentives obtainable to electrical autos that come pre-equipped with a hard and fast battery to electrical autos with swappable batteries. “The scale of the motivation might be decided primarily based on the kWh (kilowatt hour) score of the battery and suitable EV,” the draft coverage states.

“An acceptable multiplier could also be utilized to the subsidy allotted to battery suppliers to account for the float battery necessities for battery swapping stations in several battery swapping ecosystems,” the draft coverage mentioned. The federal government will even specify a minimal contract period for a contract to be signed between EV customers and battery suppliers to make sure they proceed to offer battery swapping companies after receiving the subsidy.

The coverage additionally requires state governments to make sure public battery charging stations are eligible for EV energy connections with concessional tariffs. It additionally proposes to deliver such stations below current or future time-of-day (ToD) tariff regimes, in order that the swappable batteries might be charged throughout off-peak intervals when electrical energy tariffs are low. Transport Departments and State Transport Authorities might be accountable for easing registration processes for autos bought with out batteries or for autos with battery swapping performance, the draft says. Municipal firms might be accountable for planning, zoning permissions and land allocation for battery swapping stations.

The coverage additionally proposes to assign a novel identification quantity (UIN) to swappable batteries on the manufacturing stage to assist monitor and monitor them. Equally, a UIN quantity might be assigned to every battery swapping station. It additionally proposes to put in battery swapping stations at a number of areas like retail gas shops, public parking areas, malls, kirana outlets and normal shops and so forth.

What’s the battery-as-a-service mannequin?

Niti Aayog mentioned battery swapping will fall below the battery-as-a-service (BaaS) enterprise mannequin, and such fashions must guarantee interoperability between EVs and batteries for a profitable mainstreaming of battery swapping instead. “Given the nascency of battery swapping, interoperability between EV batteries and different parts inside a battery swapping ecosystem is ample for eligibility below the coverage, so long as all parts throughout the ecosystem adhere to the technical and efficiency requirements outlined for BaaS and battery swapping companies,” the draft coverage says.

Other than the batteries themselves, main battery suppliers might be inspired to signal data-sharing agreements to offer info on battery well being and efficiency, and to allow extra flexibility to customers by means of peer-to-peer roaming networks. “For the classification of collected information below the broad classes of proprietary, restricted-access, non-public and open-data, a non-restrictive detailed guideline might be developed for adherence by all trade gamers,” the draft provides.

“This coverage requires ecosystems to be ‘open’ to permit participation from different market gamers so as to be thought of for assist below the coverage”. The coverage will solely assist batteries utilizing Superior Chemistry Cells (ACC), with efficiency that’s equal or superior to EV batteries supported below the federal government’s FAME-II scheme.

As of now, two-wheel EV maker Bounce has launched an electrical scooter with a swappable battery. Underneath the corporate’s enterprise mannequin, clients will pay to swap their battery at one among their stations, at any time when it runs out of juice.

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Does the draft coverage discuss EV security?

To make sure a excessive stage of safety on the electrical interface, a rigorous testing protocol might be adopted, the draft mentioned, to keep away from any undesirable temperature rise on the electrical interface. The battery administration system, which is a software program that controls battery capabilities, must be self-certified and open for testing to test its compatibility with varied techniques, and functionality to satisfy security necessities, it added.

This notably assumes significance given the latest incidents of electrical two-wheelers bursting into flames.

“Batteries shall be examined and authorized as per AIS 156 (2020) and AIS 038 Rev 2 (2020) requirements for security of traction battery packs, in addition to extra exams that could be prescribed for swappable batteries that are topic to a number of coupling/decoupling processes on the connectors,” the draft mentioned.

Moreover, for higher safety of belongings, swappable batteries must be outfitted with superior options like IoT-based battery monitoring techniques, distant monitoring and immobilisation capabilities.

The Aayog has proposed that every one metropolitan cities with a inhabitants of greater than 40 lakh might be prioritised for the event of battery swapping networks below the primary part, which is inside 1-2 years of the draft coverage getting finalised. Different main cities similar to state capitals with a inhabitants larger than 5 lakh might be lined below the second part.

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