India is introducing a battery swapping policy as part of a push to boost EV sales, Reuters has reported. "Considering the constraint of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations at scale, a battery swapping policy will be brought out," said India's Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.
The idea is change out depleted batteries for freshly charged ones, potentially saving time compared to charging. You may have first heard about the idea when Tesla launched battery swapping stations in 2014, then quietly dropped the idea due to lack of use.
India plans to reduce "interoperability standards," presumably so that battery-swapping tech can be used between different EV makes and models. "The private sector will be encouraged to create sustainable and innovative business models for battery and energy as a service, improving the efficiency of the EV ecosystem," said Sitharaman.
India's Sun Mobility and Honda recently set up a battery sharing service in India, starting with three-wheelers, but it's still in a very early phase. The idea has gained some traction elsewhere with scooters from Gogoro, which recently launched its battery swapping tech in China. Gogoro reportedly plans to enter the Indian market in partnership with the country's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp.
India's push for EVs is a key component of its Paris agreement commitment to reduce carbon emissions by up to 35 percent by 2030. It plans to give $6 billion worth of incentives to companies that build clean vehicles and produce batteries locally. The country has nearly 975,000 registered EVs, but only 1,028 public charging stations, according to the Hindustan Times.