What is battery swapping technique for electric vehicles? Does it really work?
It has always been a challenge to the vehicle manufacturers to improve the range of electric vehicles. The advancement in battery technologies and charging facilities enhance the battery performance and user experience with electric vehicles.
The fast-charging techniques reduced the time to charge an electric car battery. A few chargers can charge the battery to 80% its full capacity in 20 minutes.
Here are a few resources for you
- Future electric car charges in 3 minutes!
- Electric car charging 101: Basics of electric car charging
- Electric car charging blog series
Even though there are advancements in the technologies, electric vehicles could not reach a position to charge as fast as the fuel filling in internal combustion engine vehicles.
Battery Swapping for electric vehicles – The concept to get the vehicle fully charged in seconds
The battery swapping method for an electric vehicle is introduced to reduce the waiting time of the car drivers in the charging stations to fully charge their electric car battery.
The empty battery itself is replaced with a fully charged battery at the battery swapping stations, and it is a matter of seconds.
The owner of the vehicle does not possess the battery. The battery would be the property of the swapping station operator.
The major advantage of the battery swapping in the reduced initial cost of an electric vehicle. Battery constitutes the lion share of an electric vehicle cost.
Battery Swapping Stations
A battery-swapping station is an infrastructure where a number of batteries are being kept in charging and readily available for the vehicle drivers to replace their drained battery.
The infrastructure shall be set up nearby Toll booths, Highway restaurants, Metro stations, on-call battery swapping – These are a few business ideas related to electric vehicles.
You shall read more about electric car-related business ideas
Advantages of battery swapping for electric vehicles
Why battery swapping is important in electric mobility? The main reason is to reduce the time a car owner wait until electric vehicle battery gets charged.
There are other advantages for battery swapping that help to push adaption of electric mobility forward.
The advantages of battery swapping can be discussed in three perspectives
#1 EV owners Perspective
- The capital cost of the electric vehicle reduces considerably
- No waiting time for charging an electric vehicle
- Availability of more swapping stations reduces range anxiety
- Life of the battery is a concern for swapping station owner and they would follow best charging practice
#2 Power utility Grid perspective
- The battery-swapping station acts as a flexible large load
- Controlled charging of EV batteries helps out to perform peak load shaving
- Power system management is easier than that with a number of unpredictable electric vehicle load
#3 Swapping Station owner’s perspective
- Electricity cost can be reduced in battery swapping stations (charging at off-peak period) compared to charging stations
- The large parking area might require for charging stations shall be avoided
Disadvantages of battery swapping
Battery swapping seems a good option in one perspective, but they do have a lot of disadvantages as well.
#1 Safety standards for the swapped battery: The terminal connection for high voltage batteries should have followed the safety standards to avoid potential hazards.
#2 Standardization of Li-ion battery is yet to happen: the common standard for electric vehicle batteries is not yet followed. An IC engine vehicle shall be refueled from any gas stations while the battery swapping might not be possible.
#3 The viable business model has to be developed: Tesla motors had started the battery-swapping station experiment and finally stopped and started focusing on fast-charging stations.
Examples of a few business models are:
* Prepaid distance: The EV owner buy credits to travel predefined distance and the battery charging station owner replaces the battery until the vehicle covers the distance
* Pay and use: The EV owner pays for each battery swapping
The viability of all the possible business models shall be studied and implemented
#4 Misuse of batteries: An electric vehicle battery might be misused for other applications.
#5 Theft: Battery theft might also be faced in the battery swapping station business. The EV batteries might be replaced with fake batteries
#6 State of life of batteries might be different: State of health of batteries might not be equal always and battery management system should have to be highly intelligent to manage the batteries
Once the techniques to tackle the disadvantages are developed, battery swapping can become a viable solution to reduce time to get an electric vehicle fully energized.
Where to use battery swapping method?
The size of the battery to replace does really matter in the battery swapping technique. Most of the vehicles (cars) added ultra-high security for the batteries and they are shielded from the passenger compartment.
The manufacturers follow safety measures to avoid electric vehicle fire incidents.
The battery swapping would be best suits for 2 and 3 wheelers. The three-wheeler rickshaws are common in India. The rickshaw taxis would be more popular with the battery swapping technique.
For passenger cars, the most suitable option will be fast charging.
Battery swapping shall be implemented for transport buses as well. Installation of swapping facility at depots make long-distance travel hassle-free.
The battery swapping technique for electric vehicles is a method, in which the empty battery is replaced with a fully charged battery from the battery swapping stations. Advantages of battery swapping make them an attractive alternative for normal charging techniques. But the challenges for battery swapping are also more.
What do you think of swapping the battery for 2 or 3 wheelers?
Do share the article with your friends!
- Battery swapping technique reduces time to get an EV energized
- The technique has advantages and drawbacks
- Best suits for 2 and 3 wheeler vehicles