In a nutshell, battery swapping is a take on omitting the charging session wait time and exchanging the discharged battery for a fully charged one. Range anxiety and charging time continue to impede widespread adoption of electric vehicles, even as their popularity continues to grow worldwide. Given that electric vehicles on a broader scale are still relatively new and may be somewhat intimidating to those who frequently travel long distances, this is not really surprising. Numerous technologies are being developed to address the issue, with the goals of enhancing the charging experience and reducing the amount of time required to recharge the battery before returning to the road.
Rapid chargers, for example, are very well received, while battery swapping, on the other hand, is not so well received.
We’ll try to explain what battery swapping is, what it offers, and why so many people are skeptical in this piece.
Battery swapping explained!
Simply put, battery swapping is a way to swap a dead battery for a fully charged one without having to wait for a charging session. Its primary objective is to align the charging experience with that of filling up an ICE vehicle.
The fact that the process aims for complete automation is a positive aspect of this solution. The time it takes to change a battery can actually be cut down to between 6 and 10 minutes by using robotic cranes, which is about the same amount of time spent at a gas charging station.
This solution undoubtedly raises a significant concern—how about the batteries? The owner of an electric vehicle cannot actually own the car batteries in order for it to function. In this scenario, the driver of an electric vehicle will need to lease them from the battery manufacturer or car manufacturer.
How does battery swapping work?
On paper, this works pretty straightforwardly. The owner of an electric vehicle drives to the specialized battery swapping station. The vehicle is then moved to a separate platform, where it is slightly raised to retrieve the battery. The vision anticipates that an automated procedure will be used to remove the battery from the vehicle after it has been disconnected from it. After that, a brand-new, fully charged battery is installed and connected to the vehicle. The electric vehicle is driven away from the station and off the platform. The removed batteries remain at the station and are currently being recharged. They can be used again for a swapping session once they are fully charged
Switching out batteries: will this ever work on a larger scale?
In order to answer this question, one needs to take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution. Certainly, at least at the first glance, it may seem like an extremely attractive and efficient way, especially on lengthy distances or when time matters. Such instances occur especially with heavy-duty transport (meaning trucks) or buses in cases when lengthy stop for charging is not possible. However, there’s a lot more to the story.
Benefits of battery swapping
As was previously mentioned, the solution’s most appealing feature is its “charging” time. Since filling up an EV battery will always be compared to filling up an ICE car, swapping batteries might be the closest thing in terms of how long it takes. In their more advanced forms, battery swapping stations can also serve as energy storage and a significant means of incorporating demand response practices. Since the charging station usually houses the batteries, they make quite a powerful power system. When there were a lot of empty but charged batteries available, some of the energy could have been fed back into the grid in times of high demand. The fact that solid solar panels can be installed on roofs is a significant possibility with battery swapping stations, which is another positive aspect. As a result, EV drivers might not only be able to take advantage of a quick car charge but also the satisfaction of having it done largely or entirely with green energy. Both the possibility of using photovoltaic (PV) and the storage capacity of the battery are great ways to ensure that the EV charging industry remains environmentally friendly and contributes to the overall health of the grid. Lastly, the cost of an electric vehicle is directly affected by the need to swap batteries. Drivers of electric vehicles are exposed to rewards that reduce the cost of what may frequently be the most expensive component, the battery, thanks to a solution that anticipates leasing batteries rather than purchasing them as part of a vehicle.
What is new battery swapping policy?
In April 2022, the Aayog released the draft battery-swapping policy after Sitharaman’s announcement in her 2022-23 Budget speech. According to the draft, additional standards and specifications for batteries regarding battery pack dimensions, charging connectors, etc.
What is battery swapping in India?
Battery swapping is an alternative that involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones.
Why is battery swapping the future?
The government of India proposed the battery swapping policy to make electric mobility more affordable than ICE, as the battery accounts for nearly 40-50% of the cost of an electric vehicle.
Who is the largest battery swapping?
Currently, Taiwanese scooter manufacturer Gogoro operates the largest battery swap network for electric mopeds, with nearly 11,000 GoStations in Taiwan, and 250 in China. Chinese luxury carmaker Nio is the only major operator of automobile battery swapping stations for the public.
Is the EV market in India ready to swap batteries?
The Indian EV battery swapping market size stood at an estimated revenue of $10.20 million in 2022. During 2022–2030, the growth rate of the Indian EV battery swapping market will be around 25.20%. Three-wheeler is the largest user by vehicle type in the Indian EV battery swapping market.
Is battery swapping cost effective?
Battery swapping is a quick and cost-effective method of recharging an electric vehicle that’s most suited to cars with high daily driving requirements.
How much does an EV battery swapping station cost?
ALBIZ Electric Vehicle Battery Swapping Station Setup at Rs 50000 in Bhubaneswar.
What is electric battery swapping?
Convenient Charging: With battery swapping, electric vehicle (EV) drivers can simply swap out a depleted battery for a fully charged one, rather than waiting for a slow charging process. This makes it easier to travel longer distances and eliminates the need to find charging stations.
What are the disadvantages of battery swapping technology?
One disadvantage of battery swapping is its high startup cost. Building an automated battery swap station can cost ten times as it takes to construct a fast-charging station. On the other hand, battery swapping is highly advantageous when it comes to speed and convenience.
Sadly, despite the fact that the advantages appear to outweigh the disadvantages, the benefits appear to be quite promising. The building of a battery swap station is first and foremost expensive. With the current prizes, building a complete network must cost millions of dollars, as one of these stations may cost anywhere from 450 000 to 600 000 pounds. Naturally, the rewards will decrease in the future, just like they do with any other technologically advanced solution, but the majority of CPOs probably won’t be able to invest in them. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that the price does not include the land on which they are intended to be constructed. Another problem appears here. While “classic” EV chargers do not require a lot of space and can be installed in infrastructure that is already in place, battery swap stations are much larger and require a construction to be set up before they can operate.
The interoperability of such stations, on the other hand, might be the greatest obstacle. Even though Nio is doing well in the Chinese market, keep in mind that their stations are only compatible with their own car models. Given that more and more brands are launching their own electric vehicles, the variety of models on the market grows exponentially, making it extremely challenging to compete. This basically leaves three battery swapping options:
In practice, battery swapping stations are developed in such a way as to serve various models, which in practice would cost even more. If at all possible, car manufacturers agree on universal battery instalment, which in many cases would require significant changes to the entire production process. All of the above are beyond complicated in terms of their widespread adoption. Each car manufacturer starts developing their own swap stations, which would involve a huge investment and most likely the lack of space. In the above scenario, the ownership of the battery makes things even more complicated. The idea of universal batteries comes up at the same time, making it a whole new case to talk about.
There have already been some attempts to swap batteries in the past. As an illustration, Tesla has proposed the idea while seeking investors. However, the plan was probably scrapped sooner than it had been announced. Renault tried as well. They even started a subbrand called Better Place to make managing and setting up swap stations easier. The business declared bankruptcy almost five years later.
Is battery swapping the future?
Battery swapping has emerged as one of the biggest solutions to the shortcomings of traditional EVs. It has been reported that batteries consist of 40% to 50% of the EV’s cost, with a switch to EVs without a battery this cost is eliminated, thereby making EVs more affordable.