Not just around the world but EVs have made real progress in India as well. While EVs didn’t announce themselves on a national level until after the pandemic in India post that in just a couple of years, they have not just risen in popularity but also gotten newer and newer upgrades. However, there is a new worry regarding EVs and that is swapping of batteries may hinder the innovation capacity of the EV segment.
Significant growth was seen in Indian markets as the market was valued at USD 1.45 billion in 2021 and is expected to hit a valuation of 113.99 billion USD by 2029 with a CAGR of 66.52%. These numbers have been shared by the report named India Electric Vehicle Market, 2022-2029 which has been made by Fortune Business Insights.
Behind this growth and success of EVs in such a short run factors like heightened environmental awareness, government support, and technological advancements were responsible.
The use of EVs has been promoted by introducing subsidies, tax breaks, and investments in charging infrastructure. Advancement of battery technology and several convenient charging options that are coming up are also contributing to growth in the popularity of EVs.
The government has taken steps like an incubator program, allowing 100% FDIs, sharing facilities for prototyping, and providing financial support via Credit Guarantee Scheme for Start-ups to promote electric mobility. This has seen investment in EV startups growing by a massive 255% in 2021 when it reached a value of 444 million dollars in 2022.
A draft policy was released by NITI Aayog in 2022 on battery swapping for two and three-wheelers. This was done to reduce at least 1 Giga tonne of carbon dioxide emission by 2030.
Battery swapping involves exchanging the discharged battery for a charged one. However, market experts have claimed that it is a market dead end to swap batteries and it will just disconnect vehicles from fuel.
Earlier battery swapping was considered to be the one-stop solution for expanding the range of EVs as there weren’t many charging stations around. However, today a lot of these vehicles offer a range of more than 100 miles and so battery swapping is not found to be a redundant process.
It is not just expensive to continue doing so but also complex and unsaleable on large scale. Industry experts think that battery swapping will only reduce investors’ funds and also won’t be offering a viable solution at the same time.
Swapping of Batteries may hinder the innovation capacity of the EV segment. Issues like battery ownership and standardization of batteries across different vehicle models to optimize performance will be some real issues to consider.
While this will stop companies from innovating and coming up with better and cheaper batteries it will also increase production costs and bring environmental concerns about battery disposal as each vehicle will now need several batteries to go with them.
It is necessary to empower customers and to give them the freedom to choose the technology or solution they prefer rather than to force them to settle for one assigned if a sustainable and dynamic EV market needs to be created.
Taking the alternative route may prove to be a short-signed vision. Also, vehicle manufacturers don’t usually share the battery technology and so using swappable batteries could result in a surplus of unused batteries which then results in environmental degradation and cost inefficiencies.