Out in a flash: Tesla's rejection of battery swapping hasn't deterred others from investing in the technology, and India may soon announce its support through a formal policy in three months' time. Photo: Business Standard

India: Govt to offer incentives for battery swapping to mitigate cost of adoption

The Indian government is likely to offer incentives to promote the use of battery swapping across the country, with the objective of lowering the charging times and the upfront purchase costs of EVs. The incentives are likely to come as a part of a new battery swapping policy to be announced by NITI Aayog in three months, and would allow customers to avail up to 20% of the cost of the battery — the most expensive component of an EV — over and above the subsidies available for buying the vehicles themselves. The batteries’ form factors and charging standards will be standardised, and the announcement comes even though Tesla, the world’s most popular electric vehicle manufacturer, has decided not to adopt battery swapping. 

Older cars in Delhi to be approved for electric retrofitment

The Transport Department at the Delhi government approved the registration of old petrol and diesel cars in Delhi retrofitted with electric conversion kits, so long as the retrofitment is carried out by one of the 10 empanelled kit manufacturers. The vehicles will need to be modified by trained technicians and must undergo fitness tests at least once a year and the age limits for the cars will be more than 15 years for petrol units and more than 10 years for diesel. The cost of the retrofitment is estimated to range from Rs. 3-5 lakh. 

GM to up e-truck production by 600%, Volvo to adopt Tesla-style mega casting 

GM’s CEO Mary Barra announced that the automaker would ramp up the production of its electric trucks by six-fold within 2022 alone as it gets ready to deliver 400,000 EVs across North America before 2024. Trucks are a popular vehicle for private purchase in the US and the increased production rate will be supported by GM investments in its new EV battery and cell assembly capacities that will enable it to put together one million EVs by 2025. 
Also, Swedish carmaker Volvo will reportedly switch to the “mega casting” method of manufacturing car bodies, under which entire components of the vehicles are cast from a single aluminium block. The switch is said to be inspired by what Tesla does at its Texas factory and is supposedly instrumental in boosting its production efficiency and lowering costs. The mega casting method will be unveiled at Volvo’s Torslanda plant in southern Sweden, which itself will transition to manufacturing only electric cars by 2030.

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