In India, electric two-wheeler manufacturer Hero Electric has announced its partnership with Sun Mobility, a provider of energy infrastructure and services for EVs, to deploy electric two-wheelers integrated with the latter’s smart-swappable battery technology.
Hero Electric and Sun Mobility will start deployments in the next three months with a target of around 10,000 electric two-wheelers by the end of this year.
Sun Mobility is a tech start-up based in Bengaluru in Karnataka, India began rolling out a swappable battery service for electric vehicles in 2020. The same year, German engineering company Bosch invested in Sun Mobility with a 26 % stake. Sun Mobility battery swapping stations will also be appearing at petrol stations from the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) after the two companies made the appropriate framework agreements. Sun Mobility’s swappable battery also powers Piaggio‘s Ape E-City
Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric, said, “Battery Swapping is emerging as a good catalyst for the exponential growth of the electric two-wheelers in India. It reduces the upfront cost of buying a two-wheeler, eliminates the range anxiety and the apprehensions about the useful life of the batteries. It certainly makes a lot of sense for the B2B customers as the swapping stations can be placed in the working zones for the riders to allow them to run their bikes without waiting for the recharging of the batteries.”
This comes at a time when the Indian government’s public policy thinks tank NITI Aayog plans to roll out a ‘battery swapping policy’ in the next 3 or 4 months. This is likely to lead to EV battery swapping legislation. The expectation is that the proposed policy will enable disruptive business models such as battery as a service (BaaS), leasing, and subscription models so that electric two- and three-wheeler and three-wheeler customers do not have to own the battery, which accounts for about half of the total vehicle cost.
Hero Electric and Sun Mobility are making the most of the current environment in India, where battery electric vehicles are experiencing a boom, particularly in its largest vehicle markets: two and three wheeler EVs. These vehicle segements greatly benefit from battery swapping infrastructure in the face of missing charging opportunities.
Chetan Maini, Co-Founder and Chairman of Sun Mobility, said, “The confluence of Hero Electric’s futuristic vision on understanding the EV space and the pros of the battery swapping technology, along with the government’s commendable initiatives to come up with tangible policies, will definitely augur well with our common goal to accelerate the demand and adoption of EVs in the country.”
Battery swapping in India is already in planning from the global leader in this technology, Gorgoro with Hero Electric’s competitor: Hero Motocorp. The two ‘Hero’ electric moped companies are also wrangling over their similar names in court.
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