Gadkari Discusses Ongoing Deliberations On Battery-Swapping Policy Guidelines By Government

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Gadkari pointed out that NITI Aayog is actively engaging in discussions with various stakeholders, such as battery swapping operators, battery manufacturers, vehicle OEMs, financial institutions, think tanks, and other experts as part of its ongoing stakeholder consultations.

Despite Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introducing a draft for India’s battery-swapping policy 18 months ago, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has indicated that the government is still in the process of finalizing the battery-swapping policy guidelines. This involves discussions with various stakeholders to refine the details of the final policy. Gadkari made this announcement during the Question Hour of the Rajya Sabha’s Winter session debate.

During this session, Rajya Sabha members asked Gadkari about challenges such as OEM battery standardization and interoperability in implementing the country’s battery-swapping policy. Gadkari acknowledged the significance of battery swapping in boosting the electric vehicle (EV) sector in India. He mentioned in his written response that an interministerial meeting led by NITI Aayog in February 2022 focused on creating a draft policy framework specifically for two- and three-wheeler battery swapping. He noted the increasing number of swapping stations in India.

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Gadkari also highlighted ongoing discussions by NITI Aayog with various stakeholders, including battery swapping operators, battery manufacturers, vehicle OEMs, financial institutions, think tanks, and experts. He emphasized the complexity of the EV battery ecosystem and the evolving nature of related technologies. The draft policy, he elaborated, is still under review by NITI Aayog, the Bureau of Indian Standards, the Department of Science and Technology, and other relevant departments to ensure it supports EV growth without hampering technological innovation.

Government sources have revealed that senior officials from the Ministry of Heavy Industries are working on establishing technical specifications, safety standards, and logistics for interoperable battery-swapping technology. This aims to ensure compatibility across different EV models and charging stations.

The draft policy addresses several aspects, including safety requirements, unique identification for batteries, monitoring and traceability systems, and recycling and refurbishment procedures. The concept of battery swapping, which allows for quick exchange of depleted batteries with fully charged ones, aims to alleviate range anxiety for EV users.

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