According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), 155,400 EVs were sold in India during Financial Year 2019–2020. The deployment of these vehicles, especially in long-haul applications, depends on their charging time. Most of these automobiles in India utilize slow-charging systems, which take around eight hours for recharging the battery overnight. The surging need for zero waiting time for EV charging is, therefore, fueling the need for the battery swapping technology, as it reduces the waiting time by allowing for the change of batteries in less than three minutes.
Additionally, the mushrooming need for lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery-powered electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) will drive the Indian electric vehicle battery swapping market growth during the forecast period (2020–2030). At present, most of the e-rickshaws in India are powered by sealed lead–acid (SLA) batteries, as their initial cost is lower than that of Li-ion batteries. However, the higher engine power-to-weight ratio, greater energy density, higher battery energy-to-weight ratio, exceptional durability, and lower weight of Li-ion batteries than SLA batteries have amplified the adoption of the former.
The service type segment of the Indian electric vehicle battery swapping market is bifurcated into the pay-per-use model and subscription model. According to P&S Intelligence, the subscription model category is expected to witness the faster growth during the forecast period. This will be because of the surging adoption of the battery swapping technology in commercial vehicles. Electric bus fleet owners are preferring the subscription model over the pay-per-use model because buses have fixed routes and stoppages, so the drivers know how much range and driving time a charged battery will give.
These services by SUN Mobility Pvt. Ltd., Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd., Lithion Power Pvt. Ltd., and Panasonic India Pvt. Ltd. are also available for two-wheelers and three-wheelers in India. In the coming years, three-wheelers will be the largest users of the battery swapping technology owing to the long operational hours of these EVs on a daily basis. These vehicles are primarily used to ferry passengers, and they can cover approximately 100 km per day. To ensure uninterrupted transport, drivers require frequent charging, which hampers their efficiency. To counter this issue, drivers are increasingly opting for the battery swapping technology.
Thus, the mounting demand for zero waiting time for EV charging and soaring need for Li-ion-powered e-rickshaws in India are fueling the installation of EV battery swapping stations.