Battery swapping is one of the most promising charging concepts being adopted in the EV sector to address the concerns related to conventional charging infrastructure. This includes replacing the depleted battery from the vehicle with a fully charged one. Since there is no charging involved for the user, battery swapping is comparable to refueling ICE engines, thereby making it more feasible. Considering the continued concerns on EV driving range, battery swapping is being evaluated as a promising and sustainable alternative to conventional as well as fast charging.

China is currently the largest market for battery swapping. Numerous Chinese firms have been creating and growing their networks of infrastructure for battery swapping and corresponding BaaS models in recent years. Some of the major companies operating in the Chinese market include Gogoro, NIO Power, Aulton, Immotor, and others. Strategic alliances are created between these battery swapping companies and automakers, taxi & shared mobility service providers, and energy providers with the goal of pooling resources, sharing information, and cutting costs. Over 716+ battery swapping stations were operational in China at the end of June 2021, the majority of which were run by NIO and Aulton New Energy Automotive Technology.

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Further, after China, India is expected to emerge as the next promising market for battery swapping. The country is witnessing rapid adoption of electric two-wheelers. While electric cars are steadily picking up, electric two-wheelers and electric three-wheelers are expected to lead the way for electrification in India. There are various strategies taken by the government to promote battery swapping in India. Early policy in India would do well to concentrate on the core advantages of battery swapping that are less likely to change in the near and medium term and to prioritize standards-setting and similar actions that are most effectively handled by the government. This is because future reductions in battery price would undermine one of the major premises underlying the battery swapping model—that it significantly reduces the upfront cost of purchasing the vehicle.

Considering quick adoption of battery swapping in electric two-wheelers, relevant incentives and policies would help further accelerate the segment growth. The above figure represents price of Okinawa iPraise+. As shown in the figure, the price of the scooter without battery is significantly less than the variant with battery. Nevertheless, FAME-II incentive is not applicable to vehicles with swappable battery feature. Thus, further improvement in incentives for battery swapping would be required to boost the market growth.


Batteries used in electric two-wheelers are much smaller in size and weight than electric cars. Thus, it is more feasible to swap batteries (manually or using automated swapping) in two-wheelers as compared to cars. Cars have exceptionally heavy batteries as compared to two-wheelers. Thus, it needs sophisticated equipment for battery replacement along with human intervention. In case of electric cars, additional efforts are also required for redoing the battery connections which may become critical for automated equipment. This also may create significant margin for errors in making these connections. Due to high cost of electric car batteries, setting up battery swapping station along with stocking up batteries becomes too difficult in the current scenario. For instance, Better Place, one of the earliest battery swapping startups had setup battery swap station for around USD 2 million. This was due to high stock volume as well as high cost of batteries in mid-2000s.

Despite the higher feasibility of electric two-wheelers for battery swapping, battery standardization remains the major challenge. According to industry experts, it is difficult to get OEMs (two-wheelers as well as four-wheelers) together and build a standard battery in terms of dimensions and performance. This would clearly cut down the competitive edge that OEMs currently enjoy in terms of battery chemistry, range, performance and charging speed. Nevertheless, in case of electric two-wheelers (especially scooters or vehicles designed for commercial fleets), OEMs can consider the concept of battery standardization.

Overall, the concept of battery swapping is expected to be primarily adopted in electric two-wheelers and electric three-wheelers. Additionally, commercial fleets too can be seen as potential high growth segments, wherein battery swapping could be offered across vehicle types viz. two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars.

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