Hon’ble Finance Minister in her Budget Speech 2022-23 announced that The Government of India will be introducing Battery Swapping policy and interoperability standards in order to improve efficiency in the EV Ecosystem. NITI Aayog has drafted the Battery Swapping Policy to establish the principles behind technical standards that would enable the interoperability of components within a battery swapping ecosystem. The policy stipulates the minimum technical and operational requirements that battery swapping ecosystems would need to fulfil, to enable effective, efficient, reliable, safe, and customer-friendly implementation of battery-swapping infrastructure. It will be valid from the date of its public notification till 31st March 2025, and will be reviewed and extended thereafter, as may be decided by the Ministry of Power.
– The policy is targeted at supporting the adoption of battery-swapping for electric 2Ws and 3Ws.
– Applicable to Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) batteries with performance equivalent or superior to EV batteries supported under the FAME-II scheme
– Battery providers must demonstrate end-to-end compatibility between batteries and other components of the swapping ecosystem
– Batteries are required to be BMS-enabled. BMS of the battery must be self-certified and open for testing to check its compatibility with various systems, and capability to meet safety requirements
– Batteries will be equipped with advanced features like IoT-based battery monitoring systems, remote monitoring & immobilization capabilities, and other required control features.
Battery and Swapping Station Unique Identification Number (UIN)
– To implement traceability across the battery lifecycle, a Unique Identification Number (UIN) shall be assigned at the manufacturing stage for tracking and monitoring EV batteries. The methodology and the detailed definition of the UIN system for EV batteries will be developed by the relevant authorities.
– Required technical data of the battery will be mapped by the OEMs with UIN of battery pack at the manufacturing stage. Battery swapping operator must store the usage history and required performance data of battery with UIN during EV application, and data must be maintained to facilitate the traceability of EV batteries during the entire lifecycle.
– A UIN number will be assigned to each Battery Swapping Station.
Testing & Certification
– Batteries shall be tested and certified as per AIS 156 (2020) and AIS 038 Rev 2 (2020) standards. Additional tests may be prescribed for swappable batteries which are subject to multiple coupling/ decoupling processes at the connectors.
– For EVs with swappable battery functionality, vehicle OEMs shall be required to get ARAI approval for their vehicles to accept interoperable swappable batteries.
– Standards for BCS (battery charging station) and BSS (battery charging station) will be developed or approved by BIS/ Ministry of Power (MoP) or other competent authorities.
– The Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) used at the swapping station must be tested and approved by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) or agency appointed by the central nodal agency for battery swapping.
– During operation of the charging infrastructure, the operator must follow the guidelines and protocols of DISCOMS/CEA (Central Electricity Authority).
– It is proposed that demand side incentives offered under existing or new schemes for EV purchase can be made available to EVs with swappable batteries eligible under this policy. Subsidies may be linked to the UIN of EVs and batteries to ensure that there is no double-dipping.
– The size of the incentive could be determined based on the kWh rating of the battery and compatible EV. An appropriate multiplier may be applied to the subsidy allocated to Battery Providers to account for the float battery requirements for battery swapping stations in different battery swapping ecosystems.
– A mechanism for the disbursement of subsidies shall be worked out by the concerned department.
– The scheme may specify a minimum contract duration for the contracts to be signed between the EV users and Battery Providers (or relevant ecosystem entity) to ensure that Battery Providers continue to provide battery swapping services after qualifying for any subsidies.
– As the recipient of the subsidy on behalf of a battery swapping ecosystem, Battery Providers shall be designated as the Point of Contact with EV owners and shall be responsible, in coordination with other ecosystem players, for registering, handling, coordinating, and addressing any type of complaint from EV users regarding EVs, swappable batteries, charging facilities, or subscriptions.
– As per the current GST regime, the tax rates on Lithium-ion batteries and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) are 18% and 5% respectively. The GST Council, the decision making body on GST provisions, may consider reducing the differential across the two tax rates. The Council will take an appropriate decision in this regard at a suitable time.
– Battery swapping operators will be encouraged to develop a ‘power bank’ using EOL swap batteries to store and use renewable energy for EV charging or other applications.
The rollout of battery swapping stations will be phased in the following manner:
Phase 1 (Years 1-2): All metropolitan cities with a population greater than 4 million (as per Census 2011) will be prioritized for development of battery swapping networks under the first phase.
Phase 2 (Years 2-3): All major cities such as state capitals, UT headquarters and cities with population greater than 5 lakhs (as per Census 2011) 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, will be responsible for the implementation of battery swapping networks across the country.
– States and union territories (UTs) are responsible for the implementation and governance of the battery swapping ecosystem. Appointed state nodal agencies (SNAs) for EV public charging infrastructure will facilitate the rollout of battery swapping.
Registration of vehicles with swappable batteries
1. Vehicles with swappable batteries will be sold without a battery, providing the benefit of lower purchase costs to potential EV owners.
2. Vehicles without batteries can be registered based on the Type approval certificate, without the need to specify any details of the battery.
Any individual or entity is free to set up a battery swapping station at any location, provided that the specified technical, safety and performance standards are adhered to. Certified battery agnostic swapping stations must be used for setting up swapping services and may accommodate one or more types of certified battery packs. All BSS should serve at least one vehicle segment (e-2W, e-3W, LCV, etc.), and each BSS should serve at least two EV OEMs. BCS may vary significantly in capacity, from 1-2 batteries to hundreds of batteries, as per the requirements of the battery swapping network provider.
Draft policy document is available for download on Niti Aayog website.
Stakeholders can submit their comments on the draft policy latest by 5th June 2022 by clicking here.
Cover image source: Esmito
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