By Varun Goenka
India’s quest against climate change is heavily dependent on electric mobility and the country has set a target of 30% of vehicular sales coming from the EV sector by 2030. Despite their incredible potential, the adoption of EVs strongly depends upon public awareness about the need to switch to electric mobility. Second, mass adoption requires the elimination of the roadblocks mentioned above as well as the other hurdles such as easy financing for EVs. This is where different stakeholders such as EV OEMs, battery swapping companies, authorities, companies in EV spares and tyre sectors, and vehicle finance companies as well as fleet users are coming together to drive the industry growth.
Industry Partnerships – The growth drivers for the EV ecosystem
EV OEMs, finance companies, fleet operators, other automobile-related enterprises, and EV battery-swapping service providers hold the key to the growth of EV adoption in India. Even when the market is growing at a great pace, currently the EV volumes are less than 2% of the overall vehicle sales, and the majority of the customers remain apprehensive due to three key reasons:
Vehicle’s operational range
High cost of acquisition
Maintenance of batteries
This is where the partnerships wherein the OEMs make their products available for the buyers through a collaboration with battery swapping companies are gaining momentum. This enables the vehicle maker to sell the vehicle without the batteries (at a considerably lower cost than the cost with battery), eliminates the vehicle owner’s responsibility for battery management, and enables the swapping service provider to take care of the vehicle’s range anxiety and battery handling. The Government of India has already paved the path for such collaborations by allowing the sellers to offer EVs without batteries as well.
By roping in the finance companies, the ecosystem players are making the collaborations even more fruitful. It enables the customers to choose the right vehicle, get on-the-spot loan approvals, and the option to subscribe to a battery-swapping plan as per choice, and remain worry-free about charging. In swapping arrangements, the battery’s ownership, management, and charging responsibilities lie with the service providers. They use advanced software and hardware to create optimal temperatures at storage facilities, follow charging cycles that are more grid friendly, and optimize battery performance by constantly evaluating data from battery usage.
With the understanding of the need to work collaboratively dawning on the stakeholders, partnerships are being forged in areas such as the establishment of swapping centers in collaboration with OEMs at their outlets, tyre shops, and other locations. For instance, through a collaboration with Zomato
The partnerships are also essential from a strategic perspective as they enable different stakeholders to share their user experiences and insights. The challenges that the market witnesses in terms of operations, finance, access, or even legislative purposes can be deliberated upon, and solutions devised to address the same.
The way forward
This revolutionary approach is rapidly gaining momentum, and a holistic demand-supply continuum is being ensured by a collaboration between EV OEMs and battery-swapping companies. Once the government finalizes and implements the Battery Swapping Policy and other relevant guidelines, the picture will become even clearer for OEMs and the swapping networks. They will be able to speedily expand their networks and production capabilities, eventually reaching the desired capacity to sell millions of EVs each year within the next few years!
The author is the CEO and co-founder of Chargeup.