Future of Mobility Summit 2022: Battery swapping and electric vehicle financing will play a key role in transforming first and last mile delivery

Industry experts share the way forward for the battery swap exercise and how it will play a crucial role in transforming first- and last-mile delivery, as well as electric vehicle financing.

Electricity is the way forward for the transportation industry. The rapid emergence of EV adoption gives at least that perspective. Express Mobility recently concluded the Future of Mobility Summit 2022 to understand the ground reality of electric vehicle adoption in our country and the challenges associated with it. The Roundtable – Transforming First and Last Mile Mobility Solutions with Electric Vehicles, revealed some interesting insights, and here are short excerpts from them.

Discussion Moderator – Ashim Sharma, Nomura Research Institute, begins by revealing how battery swap technique reduces vehicle downtime, but limits innovation for form factor, chemistry and more again by introducing standardization.

Watch the video | Round table | Transforming first and last mile mobility solutions with electric vehicles:

In Sharan, Altigreen shares his point of view on the same saying: “Standardization, form factor, charge-discharge rate and aging of batteries is a challenge. Battery financing will, however, play an important role in the innovation process. Although it may not be a wide brush, battery swapping will work in some cases. Along the same lines, Jitendra Sharma from Okinawa adds, “Battery swapping brings accessibility across the table, but stakeholders need to come together to standardize the form factor and other aspects. battery keys.”

On finance playing a key role in the global adoption of the battery swapping practice, Mahua Acrya, CESL, said banks should come together to finance the battery swapping business. It is a hyper-specialized and niche activity, which also requires land. The company is on the verge of dramatically lowering the cost of ownership, but it’s also a complicated business. Adding to the challenges of financing electric vehicles, Mohammed Turra, Quicklyz, said: “Fleet buyers are already supported, but individuals are finding financing difficult. The issues that arise are: low tenure, low LTV, high down payment and higher IRR. As financiers are afraid of low resale value, these problems arise.

Moreover, robust vehicles specially adapted to Indian conditions are an important aspect for the adoption of electric vehicles in the country, adds Ashim Sharma. The challenge for Altigreen was to design an EV as good as an ICE vehicle because every geography is different, and ours is very different. And so, we have to build a product from scratch, which is at the very basic level of Altigreen, says A Sharan. “For this geography, we have to innovate,” he added.

“Abuse, theft and vandalism were key points when designing the Yulu Miracle,” Gupta added on a similar note. Additionally, Yulu had to make a trade-off between private mobility and shared mobility when designing the bike. He added: “It all ended because we wanted to solve the mobility problem for a wider audience. So we decided to stick with the VBV category.

To keep track of electric vehicles and keep them safe in the shared mobility sector, they can be activated by telematics. However, the data has a tricky issue called privacy, and private owners don’t want to share consent over it, adds Mahua Acharya.

Nonetheless, the subscription model allows for the right to track vehicles, since ownership remains with the service provider. The vehicle can be tied up for a maintenance contract, which can even guarantee its resale value. It’s not feasible for individual consumers, but the money is there and someone has to tap into it. Many funders want to fund green mobility, which will help individual buyers, Turan said.

Talking about energy as a service and battery financing, he shared that it is not a silver bullet, but it will help increase the adoption of electric vehicles. Although it is difficult to serve individual owners, in subscription services it is usable. Mahua Acharya, however, said mobility as a service would be a better solution than energy as a service. Highlighting another challenge in this industry, Gupta highlighted the omission of LSVs from FAME subsidies and the high 18% GST levied on the purchase of batteries.

Build smart charging infrastructure:

India is also emphasizing carbon neutrality by 2070. The absolute shift from fossil fuels to electricity as a fuel source requires mobility to switch to electricity. For EV acceptance, India definitely needs smart charging infrastructure. Discussing the development of the same, Saket Mehra, Grant Thomson, led the panel which involved Akshay Singhal from Log9 Materials, Ramesh Dorairajan from Tata Motors, Maxson Lewis from Magenta and Vikash Mishra, MoEVing.

Watch the video | Round table | Build smart charging infrastructure:

Ramesh Doiraja added that greater adoption of electric vehicles will be seen when more charging stations start appearing on the roads. To facilitate this reflection, Tata Power has installed charging stations on the highways. Additionally, Tata Motors provides a charger with every electric vehicle. The brand also fully exploits the advantages of its localization thanks to its extensive network of dealers. However, some problems occur, such as the owner of the charging station cutting off the power to the charger during darkness.

Further adding to the requirement for a smarter charging infrastructure, Vikash, added that DISCOMs should take the lead in building low CapEx and OpEx charging infrastructure. He added: “The battery swap system should be developed on the model of telecommunications networks. The exchange should be as seamless as transitioning from one network to another without changing the primary device.

“Shifting to clean mobility is inevitable, so we need a better solution to the small charging infrastructure. We are currently installing 2950 chargers at 35 sites in India. HPCL is also installing 1,000 chargers in the station -service, but parked vehicles occupy too much space. In fact, cut-copy-paste of foreign solutions will not help in our case. We need India-specific solutions. Recognition of the end of DISCOM for EV charging channels should help reduce overall OpEx and downtime,” Maxson said of the current charging station network case.

Battery Swap is a child of Energy or Battery as a Service. In addition to reducing overall vehicle downtime, this will help overcome another hurdle in the race – the upfront cost of electric vehicles, Akshay said. He added: “Grants are currently available, but they won’t last forever. Once that happens, electric vehicles will seem expensive. Thus, it is easy to reduce the battery from the whole equation. Having it as a service will eventually reduce the overall cost of an EV.

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