Budget 2022: India to push for stronger EV infrastructure and battery swap tech
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the Centre will introduce a new policy for battery swapping to encourage the use of electric vehicles. Presenting the Union Budget 2022 in Parliament today, she also said that the government will step up initiatives to boost EV infrastructure and EV ecosystem to achieve its broader decarbonisation goals.
Addressing the Budget session, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that there will be increased focus on expanding EV infrastructure across the country, with more EV charging stations to help vehicle owners to shift to electric cars without lesser worry of connectivity. She said, “The private sector will be encouraged to create sustainable and innovative business models for battery and energy as a service, improving the efficiency of the EV ecosystem."
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Sitharaman also hinted that soon Indian cities will see areas which may be no-go zones for ICE vehicles. “To promote a shift to the use of public transport in urban areas, special mobility zones with zero fossil fuel policy to be introduced," Sitharaman said during her Budget speech today.
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"Considering the constraint of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations, battery swapping policy will be brought out and interoperability standards will be formalised," Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech for 2022/23.
Battery swapping technology will help save time taken in charging the embedded batteries in EVs. Currently India does not have too many such options. Reliance Industries and Britain's BP Plc have recently formed a joint venture for battery swapping technology, besides Indian two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp and Taiwan's Gogoro.
India has set a target of 30 percent EV sales penetration for private cars, 70 percent for commercial vehicles, 40 percent for buses and 80 percent for two- and three-wheelers by 2030. According to data with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), India has 974,313 registered electric vehicles. But compared to the number of EVs, only 1,028 public charging stations (PCS) have been installed throughout the country so far, according to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Apart from the high cost of EVs, a major cause for the sluggish sale of EVs in the country has been the lack of charging infrastructure.