Indraprastha Gas (IGL), one of India’s largest CNG distribution company has partnered with Pune-based electric vehicle maker Kinetic Green to launch their first battery swapping station christened ‘Energy Cafe’.
The partners aim to roll out a network of battery swapping stations for two- and three-wheelers, starting with the Delhi region. They believe that offering battery as a service or pay per use, the cost of electric vehicles can be brought down substantially. In addition, the battery swapping station also address the issue of range anxiety for EV users.
The partners say that they have conceptualised, deployed advanced technology, and will offer a comprehensive IoT (internet of things)-based system, including a smart battery with a protocol for charging and host of swapping operation. The system monitors the battery and station, which are IoT enabled and linked to an app. The smart app provides real-time feedback of battery location and charging status to users.
Customers can use the Energy Cafe mobile app on their phones to locate the nearest battery swapping station, book batteries from charged batteries, pay through digital payment gateways and swap it with discharged battery at any of the IGL gas stations, paying for only the amount of charge they consume. The stations are modular, intelligent and connected.
Its multi-platform is compatible for e-bike, e-auto and an e-rickshaw. The battery box module of the system uses special lithium-ion batteries, with each battery weighing about 12-13kg. The partners say the cost of one battery swap will also be less that cost of equivalent fuel (petrol or diesel).
The open platform is interoperable and will allow new partners to come onboard. Existing EVs can also join the platform via retrofitment. Initially, IGL will play the role of providing the infrastructure in the Delhi/NCR region, while Kinetic Green will be the technology partner, provide EV domain knowledge, and help create and bring EV users to the swapping stations.
A K Jana, MD, Indraprastha Gas said, “ We realise that good infrastructure is a precursor to enabling a vibrant, clean, and smart mobility ecosystem. Carrying forward this belief, we have partnered with Kinetic Green to present an innovative and sustainable battery solution to cater to the growing demand for electric vehicles in the capital.”
Pawan Kumar, director commercial, IGL said “As a part of our diversification strategy and our mission to provide clean energy solutions, we are stepping into the electric vehicle value chain by putting up EV charging infrastructure. Through this initiative we will be adding one more vehicle segment i.e two-wheelers to our kitty, which are not CNG users today”.
Sulajja Firodia Motwani, founder and CEO, Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions said, “This solution reduces upfront cost of EV by 50 percent, and customers never have to worry about battery charging and replacement. Today we have unveiled the first 2 stations and intend to expand to set up initially 50 stations in 2022, with a focus on the New Delhi region.”