Niti Aayog's battery swapping policy to promote electric vehicle push is not viable in India, Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.
Gadkari has also asked Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to scrap the plan as the technlogy is not viable. "The swapping (battery) policy I feel is not appropriate for the country because it is a very difficult thing... that is not going to be possible in the country," he said.
Government think tank Niti Aayog, in its report, had said that accelerated adoption of electric and shared vehicles could save USD 60 billion in diesel and petrol cost and cut down as much as 1 gigatonne of carbon emissions for India by 2030. It further advocated standardised, smart and swappable batteries with lease and/or pay-per-use business models for e-vehicles.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) partially supports Gadkari's remark and said that swappable battery will not work on all segments of vehicles. For instance, for a passenger vehicle, every car will have a different design and battery requirement and to meet these needs will be a major challenge for swappable batteries.
Also, all the carmakers will be required to come together for a minimum quality and car requirement. SIAM further said that the format will rather work in electric three-wheelers or state transport buses.
Gadkari also pointed that four major carmakers — Maruti (Baleno), M&M (XUV 500), Ford (Eco sport) and Hyundai (Creta) — are ready with an electric vehicles, while other carmakers like Renault and Toyota have the technology in the global markets.
For India, the challenge is not with the technology, but it being India ready.
The particulate matter (PM) that goes out of the exhaust systems in a BS-VI engine is released after treatment of the matter. In a BS-VI, the Particulate matter is caught in the filter, so that nothing goes out of the exhaust, which needs to be calibrated according to the Indian driving conditions to ensure safety of cars.
Extensive treatment of these vehicles (BS-VI) in the India condition is very important, Siam said adding that otherwise, it will be a huge risk in preponing their release.
India has been pushing towards electrifying all new vehicles by 2030, following which the government have been taking several measures to push for production as well as use of electric vehicles.
In New Delhi, where air quality plummeted in past weeks, the Oil Ministry said it will launch the BS-VI fuel by April 2018, two years ahead of its original launch date.