Due to increased run-time and improved remunerative prospects for shared e-mobility drivers, the demand for electric vehicle (EV) battery swapping is rising in India, according to a new report by market research and consulting services firm P&S Intelligence. While the Government has incentivized charging infrastructure deployment, FICCI has suggested inclusion of battery swapping under FAME-II.
Battery swapping holds the key for E-mobility
- dramatically reduced upfront cost of EVs
- a familiar and well established pay-per-km model similar to ICE
- the swapping battery stations can be deployed in densely populated areas due to overall smaller footprint
- swapped battery pack recharging is done separate from EV and at controlled conditions and temperatures thereby increasing battery life
- for fixed route fleets, from 3 wheeled goods carriers to tarmac buses, vehicle designers can use smaller batteries, thereby reducing the weight and cost. Reduced weight leads to lower overall specs, increased efficiency and lower cost per km – greatly improving the ROI of the system
What are the roadblocks for swappable batteries?
Some of the key challenges that swappable battery pack manufacturers face are:
Number of packs and number of swapping stations:
According to FICCI, the ratio of actual vehicles to batteries in battery swapping services should be 1:1.5 to insure an ample supply of charged or charging batteries. For a given city or area, there have a to be a certain minimum number of swapping stations, before customers are willing to join and experience zero range anxiety. The number of packs and stations makes the investment high, though not so much as compared to the real estate required for charging stations.
Battery life in Indian ambient conditions:
All batteries achieve optimum service life if used at 20°C (68°F) or slightly below. If, for example, a battery operates at 30°C (86°F) instead of a more moderate lower room temperature, the cycle life is reduced by 20 percent. At 40°C (104°F), the loss jumps to a whopping 40 percent, and if charged and discharged at 45°C (113°F), the cycle life is only half of what can be expected if used at 20°C (68°F).
Increase your ROI for Swappable Battery Business
An effective solution in the market to address these challenges is the use of Latent Heat Solutions (LHS) materials.
Typically, battery packs are thermally insulated so that the outside heat does not enter the packs. The packs are usually charged in controlled environment and issued to the customer while at around 20 to 25°C. Once the battery pack is issued and is in the field, on a hot summer day, the battery pack temperature will rise quickly, leading to reduced cycle life. Some designers will reduce the current the EV can draw once the pack reaches certain temperature.
LHS® Fill and Flow (F&F) material absorbs the energy generated during the battery discharge, controlling the temperature increase in the pack as shown in the graphs below. Temperature dependent de-rating gets delayed thereby allowing the driver to use his vehicle at full capacity giving maximum value for money. The reduction in peak cell temperature translates to increased pack life and leads to lesser number of total packs to service same number of customers. This means increased ROI for the swapping service provider.
LHS® F&F is specifically designed to fill enclosed and small cavity systems by completely flowing around, encompassing and contacting all fully enclosed cell and pack surfaces thereby providing a more homogenous pack temperature, prevention of hot spots, and increased pack efficiency.
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