Government think-tank NITI Aayog on Thursday issued a draft battery swapping policy in which it has proposed several measures including incentives to electric vehicles (EVs) with swappable batteries, a new battery-as-a-service business model, standards for interoperable batteries, and subsidies to the swappable battery manufacturers.
In the Union Budget 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that the Centre was working on a battery swapping policy, which would reduce EV purchasing cost for buyers and in turn push the transition.
The draft policy comes amid growing concerns over safety issues around electric vehicles owing to multiple fire incidents recently.
The policy seeks to level the playing field for sale of EVs with fixed or swappable batteries.
The policy is mainly targeted at electric two- and three-wheelers for adoption of battery-swapping systems and all metros with population of more than 4 million will be eyed in Phase one.
The draft also states that the GST council may consider reducing tax on batteries from 18 percent to 5 percent.
The draft also proposes to support batteries with Advanced Chemistries eligible under FAME scheme.
Besides, the draft also proposes a Unique Identification Number for each battery to track and monitor it.
"Batteries shall be tested and certified as per AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev 2 for safety of traction battery packs," it says, adding that the battery management system (BMS) must be self-certified and open for testing.
A rigorous testing protocol to avoid breakdowns and unwanted temperature rise has also been proposed.
The draft also says that data sharing agreements among major battery providers will be encouraged.
NITI Aayog has said that the draft is now up for consultation and has invited comments on it until June 5.
First Published: Apr 21, 2022 1:25 PM IST