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  • Manika Gupta

EV battery swapping as a growing business idea

Updated: Apr 9

Battery swapping is a new concept which in layman’s terms means that EV owners replace discharged batteries with charged ones at the swapping stations.  It allows customers to keep their vehicles charged, and therefore up and running without having to worry about recharging drained out batteries.


The battery swapping industry is taking off because of need for quick and efficient charging solutions, increasing battery prices and inadequate charging infrastructure.


According to the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), there are more than 20 active battery-swapping operators, with around around 1000-1500 swapping stations that hold more than 1.5 lakh batteries, operating in the country.





Manik Rhode runs battery charging stations, one from Sector 10 in Noida and other from Delhi, where he charges about 50 batteries in one station. His company We Volt Technologies does battery swapping for three-wheelers and two-wheelers. The EV market has been growing and three-wheelers at that time were using lead-acid batteries that weighed about 50-60  kgs, something that reduced the range.  These were taking 8-9 hours of charging. So now Lithium-Ion batteries have come up which are much lighter and efficient. These weigh only 10-12 kgs. Manik says that at the station,





we charge these batteries and swap the charged ones and put the discharged batteries for charging. All the batteries are GPS- and IoT-enabled. The total cost of setting the station could be 10 to 12 lakh as per Manik.


Government subsidies

On government subsidies Manik says that there are government subsidies for all EV buyers, where you want to buy an EV car, Scooter or three-wheeler. Even the EV charging station like mine can get an EV meter which charges Rs 5.5 per unit with no fixed charges or slabs. Every station has a different electricity consumption pattern. For his stations it is more or less 20,000 units depending on the batteries to be charged.


Profits:

Profits from this business can range anywhere between Rs 85,000 to Rs 1, 25,000. Manik typically earns about Rs 1 lakh from every station. However, the scope for expansion of this industry is huge. India needs around 4, 50,000 battery swapping stations, with an investment of $100 billion. And though this segment is growing there are very few stations so far.  

 

 

 

 

 

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