The draft battery swapping policy, released by NITI Aayog recently, is set to enable interoperability of EV batteries across various platforms. It has also standardised the technical specifications of the battery so that only those batteries that meet these standards will be used in an electric vehicle. Taking into account other key features of the policy, one can say with certainty that once implemented, it is set to drastically improve the entire EV ecosystem.

Electric Vehicles (EV) are gradually gaining popularity in the country; the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segment in particular has grown exponentially. Looking at the rapid growth in the EV ecosystem, the Finance Minister in her Budget Speech 2022-23 had announced that the Government will soon launch an EV battery swapping policy to standardise batteries in the EV market.

Government thin-tank NITI Aayog recently came up with a draft EV battery swapping, of which we took not earlier also. The policy is set to enable interoperability of EV batteries across various platforms. As per more details available, the policy has standardised the technical specifications of an EV battery so that only the batteries that meet these technical standards shall be used in an EV.

This draft policy is applicable to the ACC (Advanced Chemistry Cell) batteries and the battery operators must ensure that these batteries are compatible with all the aspects of the EV ecosystem. These EV batteries must be BMS (Battery Management System)-enabled. BMS is the smart system of an EV that communicates with the EV as well as the battery.

According to the policy, these EV batteries must be equipped with IoT (Internet of Things). The IoT-based BMS enables remote monitoring of the battery as well as the EV. It is also fitted with a 4G SIM that helps the station operator to track the EV battery and control various features of the EV battery.

All the EV batteries will be assigned with a Unique Identification Number (UIN) to track and monitor the status of an EV battery. It will also be helpful in tracing a battery lifecycle during all the swapping. The OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are responsible for mapping the EV battery with a UIN at the manufacturing stage.

The battery swapping station operators shall be responsible for storing all the required data with a UIN so that it can be traced easily. Each battery swapping station will also be assigned with UIN to keep a track on all the battery operators. This will help avoid any misuse of EV batteries by swapping station operators. According to the policy, the battery providers will act as the Point of Contact to all EV consumers for all EV-related problems.

All the EV batteries must be tested and certified as per the AIS 156 and AIS 038 Rev2 standards. Under the FAME-II scheme, the battery swapping operators will be provided with subsidies linked with the UIN numbers of batteries. It will be the sole responsibility of the battery provider to offer any service related to the EV battery even after receiving the subsidy. The battery swapping stations will be set up across India in a phased manner, in the next three years.

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