B'luru to get 100 EV battery-swapping stations

Bengaluru to get 100 battery-swapping stations for EVs by end of 2021

Swap Points are now available at IOC outlets in Indiranagar, Jayanagar, Koramangala and HSR Layout. Credit: DH Photo

Giving electric vehicle (EV) owners a big relief from the dreaded ‘range anxiety', the city will get 100 battery-swapping stations called ‘Swap Points’ by the end of 2021. To be rolled out by SUN Mobility, these stations will replace an EV’s dying batteries with fully charged ones in two to three minutes.

Four of these Swap Points are now available at Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) outlets in Indiranagar, Jayanagar, Koramangala and HSR Layout.

In a virtual event on Tuesday, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced the commercial launch of the network.

SUN Mobility has also announced its partnership with the city’s MetroRide, an eco-friendly shared mobility solution to solve first- and last-mile connectivity for metro rails. MetroRide’s fleet of Piaggio Ape E-City electric three-wheelers will make use of the Swap Points.

So, how does the Swap Points work?

In a demonstration as part of the launch, an electric three-wheeler rickshaw displayed its three swappable batteries. The woman driver had seen the indication that the batteries were low on charge. At the Swap Point, the batteries were taken out and replaced with fully charged ones.

“We realise that good infrastructure is a precursor to enabling a vibrant, clean and shared mobility ecosystem in a city like Bengaluru. A great example of this is the three-wheeler market that has 180,000 three-wheelers, supported by 85 LPG stations. We want to create a similar supporting ecosystem,” says Chetan Maini, co-founder and vice-chairman, SUN Mobility.

The city-wide ecosystem of Swap Points, he explains, will power and support all forms of shared mobility, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and last-mile delivery trucks. “Each of the Swap Points will be capable of swapping 200 batteries a day. That would mean catering to 15,000 two-wheelers and 5,000 three-wheelers with swappable batteries,” Maini told DH.

The tie-up with MetroRide, he said, could boost the setting up of Swap Points set up in the future near metro stations. “Eventually, they could turn hotspots of high utilisation by the public.”

SUN Mobility, Maini said, was now looking at working with infrastructure enablers, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to enable a robust network of battery swapping infrastructure in the city.

This is expected to give the right impetus to meet the government’s goal of providing one charging station in a 3-km radius grid in Bengaluru, as part of its EV Policy released in 2017.

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