How detachable batteries can double India’s electric vehicle sales

Electric vehicles for long have been a hot topic of discussion among all stakeholders. However, not much has been achieved on the ground as a lack of charging infrastructure and range anxiety continue to deter people from buying EVs. Now though, detachable batteries can give a big boost to electric two-wheelers in India. Here's how.

By:Updated: Jul 05, 2019 10:41 AM

In recent times, electric vehicles (EVs) have come to the mainstream prominence in terms of awareness. The electric vehicle market is gaining momentum in India due to the ambitious plans and initiatives of the government. Public authorities in India have made a number of electric vehicle-related policy announcements over the past few years showing strong commitment, concrete action, and significant ambition for the deployment of electric vehicles in the country.

Government initiatives such as Make in India, FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of E-vehicles), Green Mobility Fund etc. are aimed at wooing the environmentally aware millennial generation. The government’s think tank NITI Aayog has also proposed the sale of electric vehicles only after 2030. Such initiatives have given a boost to e-vehicle manufacturers, some of whom have developed vehicles that have successfully managed to break the performance barrier that e-vehicles suffered from for so long. Now, these vehicles are giving conventional fuel run automobiles a run for their money and being ‘environmentally-friendly’ they are emerging as the preferred option for many young commuters.

Electric vehicles are easier on the environment than their gasoline-powered counterparts, but their long charging times and the scarcity of charging stations can make life hard for the eco-conscious motorists who drive them. It will be safe to say that currently, the charging infrastructure in India is nearly zero. As the country still grapples with providing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs), electric two-wheeler makers are turning to detachable batteries to make the charging process easier.

Removable batteries can be a game changer for the electric two-wheeler segment. With the shift to detachable batteries, the country’s pace towards electrification will double in no time. The big idea here is using smart, swappable batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are one of the key enablers of this disruption. They have reduced the cost of fuel for vehicles and also offers energy conservation benefits. Besides, with Lithium-ion, different players have come up with detachable and swappable batteries, thereby reducing the range anxiety often associated with EVs. Moreover, the arrival of detachable batteries has enhanced the convenience for users as they can be charged anywhere for instance, within a house, without the need for the vehicle to be present. This not only saves time but also saves the extra work of finding a charging station. The charging time on these batteries is not very high. It takes two to four hours for them to be fully charged. Adding to the convenience is the fact that malls, restaurants etc. can also serve as a charging alternative when making long journeys. By focusing on the efficiency of the vehicles, and allowing the batteries to be replaced, the cost per kilometre for electric vehicles comes down to about the same levels as fossil fuel based vehicles.

The personal mobility space may adopt EVs much faster than most of us actually think. E-mobility adds to the country’s economic as well as environmental benefits. It also contributes to the economic growth of the country and increases employment opportunities. There is an inherent economic justification in switching from ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) to EV. In India, we have seen that people are willing to invest a high capital cost if their operating costs are lower. As for EVs taking off in India is concerned, detachable battery packs will definitely inspire confidence among early EV consumers and adopters.

Author: Jeetender Sharma, Founder & Managing Director, Okinawa Autotech Pvt. Ltd.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or any employees.

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