[20th Mar 2020] The global EV battery swapping market share is currently at its nascent phase but is projected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period (2020–2030). The time required for charging an EV is a constraint as it takes a lot of time. Furthermore, it requires several charging points in order to intercept range anxiety. Suitable space, for accommodating these charging stations required, is challenging.
Moreover, the availability of DC fast chargers and challenges associated with the installation is the major concern for the EV stakeholders, which is further benefitting the electric vehicle (EV) battery swapping market. Here, swapping technology plays a vital role by eliminating such issues. Swapping technology drastically decreases the waiting time through its under 3-minute interchange of batteries versus 1.5-2 hours minimum for charging solution.
Swapping a battery takes only a few minutes, which eliminates the drivers’ need to wait for too long while the vehicle is being charged. Battery swapping also helps in addressing the problem of high upfront cost of EVs. By using swapping technology, the battery can be separated from the vehicle and the owner is not required to own it. Instead, it can be owned by energy operators. These operators will offer a charged battery, in exchange for a depleted one, as service. The operators will purchase the batteries, charge them and lease them to EV owners at convenient battery swapping stations.
An EV owner can sign up with one such energy operator and take charged battery on lease from them. Thus, by separating the vehicle from its battery, the upfront cost of the an EV comes down to levels competitive to internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, enabling higher demand of EVs and supporting the growth of the battery swapping market.
Several companies are primarily focusing on offering battery swapping technology for small light vehicles. Swapping of batteries can be done manually for small light vehicles, which includes two-wheelers and three-wheelers, since they have light weight batteries. However, four-wheelers, including cars and buses, with heavier batteries, will need mechanical or automated swapping.
In September 2019, electric scooter manufacturer Gogoro Inc. launched its battery-swapping business unit, Gogoro Network, which is involved in building and managing Gogoro’s battery-swapping network. Till 2019, the company have nearly 1,590 GoStations (battery swap stations) sites located across supermarkets, stores, and parking lots. Thus, the upcoming plans for the installation of battery swapping station by major players and EV manufacturers is expected to benefit the EV battery swapping market during the forecast year.
The EV battery swapping market is at its nascent phase, with adoption taking place in specific countries. Several Asian countries continue to install battery-swapping stations. The major market that has been deploying battery swapping stations across the world is observed to be China. The country appears to be boosting the battery swapping technology in an attempt to further promote electric vehicles in the country.
In 2019, China held nearly 58% share in global EV sales. The country’s major EV manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd. (BAIC) offers battery swap services for electric taxis, and has plans to invest over $1.4 billion to install 3,000 battery swapping stations that are capable of serving 500,000 EVs by the end of 2022.
EVs using advanced batteries through swapping is expected to run 25% longer compared to those conventional charging and 50% more compared to lead acid battery-based vehicles. The global mobility as a service (MaaS) is projected to witness an 11.9% CAGR during 2019–2024, offering ample opportunities for the players in EV battery swapping market.