IGL, Kinetic Green in partnership on Battery Swapping Technology for EV sector

IGL, Kinetic Green in partnership on Battery Swapping Technology for EV sector

New Delhi, March 18, 2022

City gas distribution company Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and Kinetic Green, a Pune-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, have launched their first “Energy Café”- a battery swapping station designed under a strategic collaboration aimed at revolutionizing the EV industry in India.

Under the alliance, IGL and Kinetic will roll out a deep network of battery swapping stations, starting with the Delhi region, where a range of electric three-wheelers and two-wheelers can avail battery swapping facility.

A. K. Jana, Managing Director IGL launched the initiative here on Wednesday in the presence of Pawan Kumar, Director (Commercial), IGL, Sulajja Firodia Motwani, founder and CEO, Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions Ltd., and other senior officials of IGL and Kinetic.

Battery swapping as a concept is gaining popularity and momentum in India’s transition to EVs, including a statement made by the Finance Minister during the Budget speech that a comprehensive battery swapping policy would be announced by the government shortly.

Battery swapping as a concept is designed to address some of the critical concerns and deterrents faced by the drivers towards owning and operating electric vehicles. Under battery swapping, EVs can be sold to customers without the lithium-ion battery and drivers can avail batteries on a “pay per use” concept by paying a small amount for “battery as a fuel”. With this, the cost of the EV can be almost halved and brought, not just at par, but below price of ICE counterparts.

Further, range anxiety is eliminated as drivers need not worry about range anymore and they can always swap their discharged battery for a charged one, like they used to fill fuel in their ICE vehicles, if they need to go longer distance. Vehicle re-charging time is eliminated as battery swapping takes only two minutes and customers need not worry about charging batteries or even buying a new one in the future. Battery swapping stations can be set up at convenient locations, like fuel pumps, where customers can go for giving back the discharged batteries and swapping it for a fully charged one. This technology is most suited for “light electric vehicles” like 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers, where batteries are light weight and smaller, and thus can be easily swapped manually, a press release from IGL said.

The Battery Swap Stations developed under the alliance will be called “Energy Café”- where energy or battery as a fuel will be available as a pay per use service. At Energy Café, IGL and Kinetic have conceptualized and deployed advanced technology, and offered a comprehensive IoT (internet of things)-based system, including a smart battery with a protocol for charging and host of swapping operation. The system monitors the battery and station, which are IoT-enabled and linked to an app. The Smart Network provides real-time feedback of battery location and charging status to users.

Users can effortlessly install Energy Café Mobile App on their phones, locate nearest battery swapping station, book batteries from available charged batteries, pay through digital payment gateway and swap it with discharged battery at any of the IGL gas stations, paying for only the amount of charge they consume. The stations are modular, intelligent and connected. Its multi-platform is compatible for E-bike, E-auto and an E- rickshaw. Battery box module of the system uses special lithium-ion batteries which have been developed; each battery weighs just about 12-13 kgs and thus, can be easily removed and replaced. Cost of one battery swap will also be less than cost of equivalent fuel, say petrol or diesel, and thus, customers not only get convenience but also their transport cost will be reduced.

"What is further unique about this alliance is that this solution is being conceptualized as an Open-platform solution for the entire EV industry, and not only for EVs made by Kinetic Green. It will be inter-operable across brands and vehicle models. The EVs that intend to join this platform simply have to go through a simple retro fitment for these specially-made batteries for being able to swap it at the stations. IGL will play the role of providing the infrastructure. Initially IGL’s existing well-spread network of CNG stations in Delhi/NCR can be leveraged to install the Energy Cafe's. Kinetic Green will play the role of the technology partner, provide EV domain knowledge, and help create and bring EV population at the swapping stations.

Jana said IGL was happy to be part of another "green revolution"by venturing into the e-mobility segment by setting up battery swapping facilities in collaboration with Kinetic Green. "The battery swapping solution that we unveil today will greatly spur e-mobility adoption”.

“We realize that good infrastructure is a precursor to enabling a vibrant, clean, and smart mobility ecosystem. Carrying forward this belief, we have partnered with Kinetic Green to present an innovative and sustainable battery solution to cater to the growing demand for electric vehicles in the capital," he said.

Pawan Kumar said, “Through this initiative we will be adding one more vehicle segment i.e 2 wheelers to our kitty, which are not CNG users today."

Motwani said the solution would reduce the upfront cost of EVs by 50%, and customers would never have to worry about battery charging and replacement.

"We are confident this solution will revolutionize the EV industry in India, especially for intra-city and last mile transport," she said.

Motwani said that the company intended to initially set up 50 stations during 2022, with a focus on the New Delhi region.


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