Mumbai: New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) in association with EV infrastructure firm RACEnergy on Friday inaugurated the first battery-swapping station in Tirupati to pilot five retrofitted electric autos in the region.
This solution offered by RACEnergy helps convert diesel auto-rickshaws into electric.
The retrofit kits, along with the battery swapping stations and RACEnergy-made swappable batteries provide a well-integrated, economical and scalable solution, wherein drivers can simply swap their discharged batteries, with the charged ones within 2 minutes, enabling them to be on the road for longer durations, the company said in a release.
The advanced technology integration of hot-swapping the batteries takes away any manual intervention of plugging connectors, it said, adding that the entire process is much safer and completely taken care of by the company.
This is the first-of-its-kind pilot with retrofitted auto-rickshaws that uses hot-swapping technology. Post the pilot phase, we are looking to expand to 200 vehicles in the coming months, said S Ramana Reddy, VC and Managing Director, NREDCAP.
Through this unique solution, drivers can purchase the retrofit kits and convert their diesel autos to electric, he said.
Battery swapping also makes economic sense for the driver community because once the vehicle is converted, their operational expenditure drops 30 per cent and their earnings increase, Reddy added.
We are thrilled to support the vision of NREDCAP to make Tirupati an emission-free city. We look forward to scaling these operations in the coming months and expanding to neighbouring regions while also helping improve the livelihood and earnings of the driver community, said Arun Sreyas, co-founder of RACEnergy.
Co-founded by BITS Pilani Alumni, Arun Sreyas and Gautham Maheswaran in 2018, the Hyderabad-based RACEnergy primarily designs and manufactures battery swapping stations and swappable batteries.
It aims to reduce the cost of EVs and address the key adoption challenges such as the high cost of vehicles, long-charging time, lack of swapping infrastructure, and range anxiety through their innovative technology and solution, as per the release.
RACE also claims to be developing a unique electric powertrain for three-wheelers.
In its first phase, the company offers these powertrains as retro fitment kits to convert existing ICE auto-rickshaws, the release said.