Include Battery Swapping Services Under FAME-II Scheme: FICCI
In an endeavour to encourage the use of Electric Vehicles (EV) especially in two and three-wheeler categories, FICCI has recommended inclusion of Battery Swapping model of charging under the FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) scheme of Department of Heavy Industry.
In its recent letter the Department of Heavy Industry, Government of India, FICCI said, "Battery Swapping should be supported under FAME-II scheme to encourage use of these vehicles especially in the two and three-wheeler categories. The current guidelines of the scheme are not very clear about support for such models. Hence, the need for clarification."
FICCI has submitted a detailed position paper jointly with Feedback Consulting on Battery Swapping to the Government outlining various business models followed internationally.
The FAME-II policy was announced in March 2019. While the policy as such was much needed, there are some elements in the policy which could be altered for better results. There is a general positive direction in the policy towards demand subsidies and incentives for creating EV charging infrastructure.
Elaborating on the model, FICCI's Position Paper, said that in Battery Swapping, a fully charged lithium-ion battery replaces a depleted one at a swapping station in few minutes which reduces the time to charge electric vehicles. There are many benefits of this model for 2/3 wheelers.
Emphasizing the need for clarification in FAME-II policy for including Battery Swapping, FICCI said that under the EV charging infrastructure part of the policy, which has an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore, in the notification dated 8th March, 2019, under the section "Scheme Parameters: Charging Infrastructure", it has points 32 to 37 which are related to EV charging infrastructure and the relevant points are as follows:
Section 32 notes as - The Scheme envisages support for setting up of adequate public charging infrastructure to instill confidence amongst EV users, through active participation and involvement of various stakeholders including Government agencies, industries and PSE's.
And Section 36 notes as - Projects for charging infrastructure will also include infrastructure projects required for extending electrification for running of vehicles like pantograph charging, flash charging etc.
Referring to the above 2 sections, FICCI, in its letter, highlighted that it is important that the government should recognize Battery Swapping services also a critical part of the overall electrification of mobility and need to incentivize the infrastructure that will be required to set up such services.
It is important to bring the aspect of funding/incentives for Battery Swapping infrastructure services also as a specific mentioned item in these sections. The same incentives offered to set up EV charging stations could be extended to Battery Swapping services companies as well, said FICCI. As the Battery Swapping services were not factored earlier in the scheme, this may also require for additional funding in the FAME II policy so as not to curtail the funding that is required for EV charging stations which would be needed for Four-Wheelers and buses etc., noted FICCI.
The government should provide subsidy for EV with battery as in FAME-II and allow same subsidy to Swapping Service Companies. Battery bought by swapping service companies shall have better utilization, which will have a larger impact on growth of EV.