India has seen announcements of ambitious plans by automakers in the past few months regarding the introduction and expansion in production of electric vehicles. Companies that provide charging technology have also announced plans to invest in India. Now, a small company based in New Delhi has announced a huge plan to take advantage of the impending explosion in battery demand in India.
According to media reports, Lithion Power plans to invest $1 billion to create a battery swap ecosystem for electric vehicles in India. The company is expected to enter a partnership with other companies to muster the $1 billion investment.
Although the company launched just two years back, it has announced a very ambitious, yet sound business plan. The Indian government has set a target to stop sales of fossil fuel-based cars by 2030. In a policy document released by NITI Aayog, a government arm responsible for drafting long-term policies in India, battery swap was explicitly mentioned as a market-based solution to promote electric vehicles.
Lithion Power is reportedly operating five battery swapping stations in Delhi. They usually cater to small, shared mobility vehicles such as two-wheelers and three-wheelers. The company is expected to maintain a focus on this market segment at least for the next few years. The Indian government is expected to push electric mobility in the public/shared transportation sector first. Automakers in India, too, have mentioned that it would not be easy for the government or the industry to thrust the use of electric cars in the passenger segment.
Company officials told media outlets that battery swapping for electric cars would take time as the battery manufacturers would have to understand the required technical requirements. Yet, the company expects at least one million electric vehicle batteries working on a swapping model in the next three years.
As India moves to introduce electric vehicles on a large scale, many companies are expected to introduce such experimental market models to figure the most financially viable options to survive and thrive.