As part of accomplishing its larger goal of making the temple city a ‘zero-emission zone’, the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) formally inaugurated the State’s first battery swapping station in Tirupati on Friday.
Apart from this facility at the HP fuel station opposite Mahati auditorium, more will be opened soon at the Tirupati railway station, APSRTC central bus station, Alipiri, Srinivasa Mangapuram, Srikalahasti and Kanipakam to create a network so as to facilitate easy swapping of batteries.
In another first, NREDCAP Vice-Chairman and Managing Director S. Ramana Reddy formally flagged off five retrofitted electric autorickshaws. “Post the pilot phase, we are looking to expand the network to 20 ‘Hot-Swap stations’ and 200 vehicles in the city in the coming months,” said Mr. Ramana Reddy. The network would be expanded to Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kakinada and Rajamahendravaram in a phased manner.
“Battery swapping, a process that gets rid of manual intervention in the form of plugging connectors, also makes economic sense for the auto fraternity because their operational expenditure drops by 30% and their earnings start to increase,” General Manager C.B. Jagadeeswara Reddy said.
“An autorickshaw can exchange the discharged battery for a charged one in just two minutes and pay online only,” said Arun Sreyas, co-founder of RACEnergy, which developed the network of swappable batteries and the charging station.
The company would provide retrofit kits to convert existing diesel autorickshaws to electric.