Swappable Batteries In EVs Could Cut Their Upfront Costs By 30%

Battery EVs

The Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) model could cut the upfront costs of electric vehicles (EVs) if it were adopted in the UK…

BaaS and EV Prices

A new academic paper has explored the role the BaaS model could have in the UK, especially in terms of reducing the upfront cost of EVs. Produced by Cornwall Insight and Shoosmiths, it’s noted that whilst the model is popular in the likes of China, it’s received little attention in the UK.

In essence, BaaS allows drivers of EVs to swap their batteries at a dedicated service station. Usually, these operate on the basis of a subscription service. Crucially, the batteries used can still be charged at traditional charging infrastructure.

The report has noted that the model could offer a range of benefits. In addition to lowering the cost of EVs themselves (by up to 30%), it could also be used to lower concerns around range-anxiety. It could also be useful for drivers who lack access to off-road charging options, especially in inner-cities. Finally, BaaS could also provide electricity networks with more flexibility; with unutilised batteries being discharged back into them at peak hours.

‘Not an Easy Transition’ 

Dr Matthew Chadwick, lead research analyst at Cornwall Insight, commented on the report’s findings. He said, “moving to the battery swap model would not be an easy transition and any success would rely on EV manufacturers co-operating in the standardisation of their car batteries, as well as working through a number of other concerns. However, the Government’s target to put an end to the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 is very ambitious. And it is clear that sticking to a purely charging EV model, with the need to roll out extensive charging infrastructure, will likely lead to the target being missed”.

He added, “the BaaS model has the potential to be the out-of-the-box thinking needed to increase EV sales, take the pressure off the infrastructure programme, and help the Government deliver on its promise to lower emissions and reach net zero”.  

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