NITI Aayog has released the draft Battery Swap Policy addressing key technical, regulatory, institutional and financial challenges to help India develop battery swap ecosystems to unlock large-scale adoption of the battery exchange.
The policy aims to promote the adoption of battery swap technology implemented through the battery-as-a-service (BaaS) business model, ensuring lower upfront costs, minimal downtime and maintenance needs. reduced space.
Stakeholders must submit their comments by June 5, 2022.
Battery swapping addresses the charging needs of battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), which involves replacing discharged or partially charged EV batteries with charged batteries, which can be easily done manually or with mechanical intervention .
There are currently a limited number of battery swap service providers working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other stakeholders to develop swap service ecosystems. The government has announced its intention to introduce a battery swap policy in its 2022-23 budget.
The draft policy encourages battery swapping using advanced chemistry cell batteries to decouple battery costs from the upfront costs of purchasing electric vehicles. It also aims to establish technical standards that would enable the interoperability of components within a battery swapping ecosystem. Without hampering market-driven innovation, the project seeks to use regulatory levers to reduce risk in the battery trading ecosystem and unlock access to competitive funding.
The policy hopes to encourage partnerships between battery suppliers, OEMs and other partners such as financial institutions. It aims to encourage the formation of ecosystems capable of providing integrated services to end users and promoting better management of the life cycle of batteries, in particular by maximizing the use of batteries during their useful life and the recycling of batteries. at the end of life.
The policy will only support batteries using advanced chemical cells with performance equivalent or superior to EV batteries supported under the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) program . Battery vendors must demonstrate end-to-end compatibility between batteries and other components of the exchange ecosystem.
Batteries covered by this policy must be enabled with a Battery Management System (BMS). Manufacturers must ensure that the appropriate BMS is in place to protect the battery from conditions such as thermal runaway. The swappable batteries will be equipped with advanced features such as Internet of Things (IoT)-based battery monitoring systems, remote monitoring and immobilization capabilities, and other control features required to ensure safety and battery safety.
Unique identification number
To implement unique traceability throughout the battery lifecycle, a Unique Identification Number (UIN) must be assigned at the manufacturing stage for tracking and monitoring EV batteries. Various tracking and tracing solutions are used in different industrial sectors, and a suitable system can be applied to EV batteries that are tamper-proof and allow centralized monitoring. The authorities will develop the standard or generic methodology and a detailed definition of the UIN system for electric vehicle batteries.
OEMs will map the required technical data of the battery to the battery UIN at the manufacturing stage. Battery swap operator must store battery usage history and required performance data with UIN during EV application. Data must be kept to facilitate the traceability of EV batteries throughout their life cycle.
Each battery swap station will be assigned a UIN number.
Testing and certification
Batteries must be tested and certified according to AIS 156 (2020) and AIS 038 Rev 2 (2020) standards for the safety of traction batteries, as well as additional tests that may be prescribed for interchangeable batteries, which are subject to a multiple coupling and decoupling process at the connectors.
The battery BMS must be self-certified and open to testing to verify its combability with various systems and its ability to meet safety requirements. To ensure a high level of protection at the electrical interface, a rigorous test protocol must be adopted to avoid any dielectric breakdown, arcing phenomenon or any undesirable temperature rise at the electrical interface.
The draft policy proposes that demand-side incentives offered under existing or new policies for the purchase of EVs could be made available to EVs with swappable batteries. The size of the incentive could be determined based on the kWh rating of the battery and the compatible electric vehicle. It is also proposed that the relevant ministry or department develop a transparent mechanism for the disbursement of grants.
Battery suppliers will receive the grant, provided that the battery trading ecosystem they represent meets the technical and operational requirements. Grants can be linked to the UIN of electric vehicles and batteries to avoid double charges.
The policy may specify a minimum contract duration for contracts to be signed between EV users and battery suppliers to ensure that battery suppliers continue to provide battery exchange services after they have been eligible for any subsidy.
The policy may also define eligibility criteria based on the performance of EVs and replaceable batteries, aligned with FAME II requirements, to ensure that only high-quality EVs and replaceable batteries benefit from the incentives.
Reuse and Recycle Ecosystem
To address the safety, reusability, and durability of business models in the second-life application of used EV batteries, standards for battery reuse and repurposing at the end of first-life EV applications should be developed by the Bureau of IndianStandards.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) will be responsible for implementing battery exchange networks across the country.
Departments of Transportation and National Transportation Authorities will be responsible for facilitating registration processes for vehicles sold without batteries or vehicles with battery swap functionality.
Municipal corporations will be responsible for planning, zoning permissions and land allocation for battery exchange stations.
Energy departments and utility companies will be responsible for powering battery swap stations and any policy support for power connections.
State electricity regulatory commissions will be responsible for preferential electricity tariffs, open access and other regulatory incentives or support for battery exchange services.
According to a recent report, “Banking on Electric Vehicles in India” by NITI Aayog, the inclusion of electric vehicles in the Reserve Bank of India’s priority sector lending guidelines could help unlock electric vehicle financing of up to 3, ₹7 trillion (~$49.27 billion) by 2030.
In September, the Union government had notified the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program for automobiles and automotive components. It is estimated that the PLI program will result in investments of over ₹425 billion (~$5.72 billion) in five years and additional production of over ₹2.3 trillion (~$31 billion). The program is expected to create more than 750,000 jobs.
Arjun Joshi is a journalist at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and overseas. He holds a BA in Journalism, Psychology and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.