The rising levels of pollution in many countries have been propelling the use of electric vehicles (EVs). The availability of sufficient charging infrastructure is crucial for widespread EV adoption. The ease with which such charging infrastructure can be accessed eliminates the problems related to EVs, such as their limited mobility range. The battery swapping technology is a viable option for delivering power to vehicles, while avoiding the slow process at charging stations. Due to all these factors, the global EV battery swapping market was valued at ~$150 million in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the EV battery swapping market. Businesses and workplaces were closed, as employees self-isolated, and assembly lines came to a halt due to the lockdowns. Work stoppages, supply chain disruptions, production delays, and market confusion have all arisen during the pandemic. However, from the last quarter of 2020, the market started recovering again with a positive growth.
The market is categorized into the subscription model and pay-per-use model, based on service type, out of which the pay-per-use category generated the higher revenue in the EV battery swapping market in 2020, and this trend is expected to persist during the forecast period. This would be a result of vehicle owners' decision to pay based on their vehicle usage, as they do not drive their vehicles for the same duration and distance every day.
The EV battery swapping market is categorized into two-wheelers, three-wheelers, passenger cars, and commercial vehicles, based on vehicle type. During the forecast period, the commercial vehicle category is expected to grow at the highest rate. Furthermore, the increasing demand for electric two- and three-wheelers in ride-hailing and sharing services, as well as the growing deployment of electric three-wheelers for goods and passenger transportation, would propel the two-wheeler and three-wheeler categories in the market at significant rates as well.
Geographically, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is estimated to hold the largest share in the EV battery swapping market during the forecast period (2021-2030). This was largely due to the considerable efforts made by a number of Chinese companies to develop the battery swapping technology. With the growth in the demand for electric mobility, the major market participants are expanding in the region.
Some of the major players operating in the global EV battery swapping market are NIO Inc., Gogoro Inc., Leo Motors Inc., Tesla Inc., SUN Mobility Private Limited, BYD Co. Ltd., BattSwap Inc., Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd. (KYMCO), Panasonic Corporation, and Lithion Power Private Limited.
Major players have been actively looking to enhance the driving range of EVs, as the lack of appropriate charging facilities and the regular charging requirements of these vehicles lead to several problems for EV owners.
For instance, in March 2021, Ample, a startup, released a new battery swap system for EVs that could help avoid the failures of previous ventures. The system works by having robots quickly replace small modular battery packs in electric cars, thus allowing them to return to the road in a short time, similar to a gas fill.