CNG retailer Indraprastha Gas launches EV battery swapping station 'Energy Cafe'
CNG retailer Indraprastha Gas (IGL) has partnered with Pune-based electric vehicle manufacturer Kinetic Green to launch a battery-swapping station, called Energy Cafe. The facility will replace discharged batteries of two- and three-wheeler EVs with a fully charged one. Under the partnership, both these companies are looking to roll out a deep network of battery swapping stations, starting with the Delhi region.
While IGL will provide the infrastructure for setting up of these swapping stations, Kinetic Green will play the role of the technology partner, provide EV domain knowledge, and help create and bring EV population to the swapping stations.
Users can install Energy Cafe Mobile App on their phones to locate the nearest battery-swapping stations, book batteries from available charged batteries, pay through a digital payment gateway and swap it with a discharged battery at any of the IGL gas stations. They will have to pay for only the amount of charge they consume.
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Battery swapping as a concept is gaining popularity and momentum in India's transition towards electric mobility. The technology addresses some of the critical concerns related to range anxiety and EV charging. "Under battery swapping concept, EVs can be sold to customers without the lithium-ion battery and drivers can avail batteries on a pay per use concept by paying a small amount for 'battery as a fuel'," IGL said in a statement.
Using this concept, the cost of the EVs can be almost halved and brought, not just at par, but below the price of internal combustion engine counterparts, the company noted. Further, range anxiety is eliminated as drivers can always swap their discharged battery for a charged one just like they fill fuel in their traditional ICE vehicles.
This technology is well suited for light electric vehicles like two-wheelers and three-wheelers, where batteries are lightweight and smaller, and thus can be easily swapped manually. “Battery swapping stations can be set up at convenient locations like we have fuel pumps, where customers can go for giving back the discharged batteries and swapping it for a fully charged one," IGL said.
(with inputs from PTI)