The Budget 2022 would become the stepping stone for India to become a sustainable, self-reliant and progressive country before celebrating its 100th independence day.
It is a futuristic budget, for it aims at making an India of the future. The government has presented a developmental budget that focuses on strengthening India through investments in all the core areas while addressing the issues associated with EV charging infrastructure.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has continued the push to entrepreneurship by increasing the duration of the concessional tax regime announced last year.
Newly incorporated domestic manufacturing companies that commence manufacturing or production before March 31, 2024, would have to pay only 15 per cent tax.
The tax concession would strengthen domestic players from all sectors in establishing themselves in a globally competitive business environment.
While several other points and parts of the budget are praiseworthy, as an industry insider, I would stick to the EV and battery segment.
The government has tried to ascertain the segment's challenges and brought forth solutions that would propel its growth while reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels.
The transport sector is the biggest consumer of petroleum in India; the demand from the segment creates severe pressure on the foreign exchange reserves. Furthermore, road transport which accounts for 90 per cent of the total CO2 emissions has been a key focus area for the government.
Understanding that sustainable mobility is the answer to these woes, the government has yet again announced a slew of initiatives for the EV and allied sector.
The EV charging infrastructure in India has been a problem area in the urban centres. While the traditional fuelling stations say the petrol pumps and CNG stations that cater to ICEs require less space to operate, EV charging spaces need to have large areas as the minimum charging duration of EVs is way higher.
Under this budget, the government has come up with an innovative solution to manage this crisis. It has proposed a battery swapping policy that would allow EV users to exchange their discharged batteries with charged and ready to use batteries.
Battery swapping would tackle the EV charging infrastructure difficulty & create scope for the establishment of battery charging stations and reduce the need for vehicle charging stations.
These energy solution centres would create new service models by providing people with energy solutions through- Battery as a Service (BaaS) and Energy as a Service (EaaS) model.
However, their success would rely on the maintenance of standards and specifications of batteries. The government was not oblivious and has announced that it would formulate inter-operability standards.
Currently, battery manufacturers have to manufacture different batteries for distinct EV models.
However, with the establishment of a battery swapping infrastructure, it would be necessary to standardise battery specifications. Common designs and battery patterns across the segment would ensure the success of the battery swapping policy.
The above steps would be successful only with wholehearted support from the Industry. I urge fellow entrepreneurs from the EV and allied sectors to participate in what would turn into the e-mobility revolution of India.
(The author is CEO & Co-Founder, EVRE.)
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