In order to boost the sales of electric vehicles in India, Finland-based electric company Fortum has signed an agreement with Sweden-based Clean Motion. The agreement allows for sustainable mobility solutions through joint development of battery swap systems, tailored especially for light electric vehicles in India. Both the companies aim to launch the project before the end of 2018 on an existing Zbee cluster in India.
The primary target market for the initiative are the major taxi companies in India and other organizations with large fleets of vehicles that are in need of high uptime in their operations. The ultimate vision is to enable all manufacturers that make or intend to make light electric vehicles to receive an offer to use the swapping technology in their vehicles.
Sanjay Aggarwal, managing director, Fortum India said, “Leveraging its expertise in e-mobility solutions, Fortum plans to transform mobility in India. The Indian government has the vision to achieve fully electric mobility by 2030. Fortum plans to extend their service and be a prominent enabler towards the achievement of this vision in India as well. Increased adoption of EV also means improved battery technology at affordable prices and therefore, this collaboration agreement will further boost the market adoption of electric vehicles."
A charging station from Fortum
Awadhesh Kumar Jha, vice president – Charge & Drive & Sustainability, Fortum India said, “Fortum looks at the batteries as containers of electric energy which is quite suitable for swapping in light electric vehicles. This collaboration complements its pioneer Charge & Drive, which is built for billions, where EV is charged and driven. This project, however, lets you change the energy canister and drive away the EV.”
Göran Folkesson, CEO, Clean Motion said, “We believe that with a partner like Fortum, we can create a system that can really have a great impact on future businesses carried out with light electric vehicles. We believe that Zbee will be utilizing the energy and will be operating in a very cost-efficient way.”
Fortum's vision is to increase the market adoption of electric vehicles by offering a suitable business model for an EV owner. It wants to address the end customers’ concern over the high cost of owning EV by reducing the initial costs for batteries. Fortum intends to own the batteries and the same shall be let out to EV in swapping stations on a pay-per-use model.
Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Clean Motion had launched its zero-emission autorickshaw, Zbee, in Delhi in 2016.
The two companies believe that to create a large-scale transition there must be a cost-efficient alternative for the operators and drivers. High-quality batteries with sufficient capacity come at a high initial cost which is one of the major limitations for the transition to electric vehicles. Thus, both the companies are looking to create a large-scale transition by providing a cost-efficient alternative for the operators and drivers.