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Pulkit Khurana, Siddharth Sikka, 

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A YEAR AGO, Pulkit Khurana and Siddharth Sikka, co-founders of Battery Smart, a battery-swapping network for electric two-wheelers and e-rickshaws, were hopeful that the government will lay out a formalised battery-swapping policy. But cut to the present, the industry stares at the possibility of the policy never seeing the light of the day. “When the details of the policy were being discussed among stakeholders, it was realised that it is not feasible to standardise the battery for the entire country at such a nascent stage, and that is the reason why the policy got dropped,” explains Khurana. However, Khurana and Sikka are unfazed. “We had built this business when there was no policy in place. The business has been drastically growing upwards,” he adds. “Today, we have 17,000 customers” says Sikka. The company has been doing one million swaps every month. Globally, 3,50,000 swaps happen every day. “We should be able to reach that figure in the next 12 months,” adds Khurana.
The company plans to add around 2,40,000 battery packs this year. “The value of these assets will be between ₹1,200 and ₹1,500 crore. We have ₹200 crore worth of batteries deployed in the network,” says Khurana. Sikka adds that the company sees the hinterland as a huge market to tap into. “We have shortlisted 120 cities and towns to be in the network in the next two years. The idea is to tap into the urban and suburban areas first — which includes 40 cities by next year — and then go deeper, into the next 70-80 cities,” he adds.