To curb pollution, India proposes a battery-swap plan for rickshaws, E-bikes

india proposes a battery swap plan for rickshaws e bikes

The Indian government proposed a battery-swapping program to expedite the adoption of electric rickshaws and scooters as it attempts to tackle climate change and curb pollution.

The policy is targeted at electric two-and three-wheel vehicles in heavily concentrated urban areas and will be valid through March 2025, according to a statement by the policy-making body of the Indian government, Niti Aayog. In the first phase, the battery swapping networks will be set up in metro cities with a population of over 4 million. In contrast, in the second phase, cities with a population of over 500,000 people will be covered.

While interoperability between electric vehicles and batteries is crucial for cost-effectiveness and safety, the policy won’t set out rigid operational and technical requirements, leaving room for innovation, Niti Aayog said. The plan will define interoperability for discharging and charging of EV batteries, and swappable batteries will have to be compatible with various models of EVs and with equipment in different battery-charging stations.

The Indian government will extend incentives to electric vehicles running on swappable batteries based on their kilowatt-hour (KWh) capacity under an existing or new subsidy program, according to Niti Aayog’s statement.

In February, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India, said the country needed battery swapping. It would be difficult to scale up traditional charging stations, given the nature of congestion in most urban Indian cities.