In an e-scooter or e-motorcycle, battery costs account for almost 50% of the total vehicle cost. This is the biggest hurdle manufacturers face when selling their products to the masses. Additionally, the range limitation and anxiety issues mean that there is still some hesitation in the minds of buyers making the switch. With this in mind, government think tank Niti Aayog is developing new policies for battery-swap technology, aimed at drastically reducing upfront costs.
This plan was put in place when this year’s annual budget was announced, as the main focus of this policy was to establish common standards for battery exchanges. If batteries were common to everyone, it would be like refueling from any gas station.
Currently, few players have explored this path. Revolt and Bounce Infinity are the only two that come to mind, and the latter has yet to begin deliveries. If we were to factor in Bounce’s trade-in costs, an annual fee of Rs 4,200 (Rs 35 x 10 trades per month x 12 months) would be much cheaper than refueling the most expensive ICE scooter. effective. Also, with lower upfront costs, as the customer does not need to pay for the battery or rent it, the actual cost of the EV will be much more accessible.
The battery swap space will likely see the arrival of established two-wheeler giants like Hero MotoCorp and Honda. Hero’s Vida electric sub-brand will launch its first scooter, which is expected to have Gogoro’s Battery Swap Technology, in March. Gogoro has been one of the leaders of this technology, revolutionizing mobility in Taiwan and many other countries.
The same goes for Honda, which has tested the viability of battery swapping with many three-wheelers in the country. the The company is expected to launch a new e-scooter which will likely have removable batteries by March 2023.
It will be interesting to see how other EV players like Ather, Bajaj, TVS, and Ola realign their strategies as this policy takes effect. Building a scooter with interchangeable batteries is more complex and costs a bit more. However, the end-user benefits are significantly higher, especially for those who want affordable mobility solutions.