Nio developed a system where EV batteries can be swapped, making charging stops very short
Many automakers have tried and failed to make this into a successful business, but Nio has been doing it for 4 years
Nio wants to license its technology to automakers in Europe and the United States.
One of the largest drawbacks of electric vehicles is the time it takes to charge the battery. Even if improvements have made it possible to fully charge an EV in about 20 minutes, this is still longer than it takes to fill up a gasoline powered car.
The desire to lower an EV’s down time has pushed a few automakers to look into battery swapping, where a driver could drive up to a station when its car’s battery is depleted and wait for only a couple of minutes while the entire battery pack is removed and swapped for a fully charged one before being able to drive another couple of hundred kilometers.
The logistics and complexities associated with such a system have made it difficult and all but one company has abandoned the idea. This company is Nio.
Nio is a Chinese electric car maker who launched a battery swapping program back in 2018 and became the first company to make this idea successful.
Indeed, the automaker reported it had completed 500,000 battery swaps two years later and it currently has 888 stations in China and Norway.
Nio is currently in talks with other automakers in order to license its swapping stations for use in Europe and North America, which is expected to be the next market where the company will set up shop.
Having other companies share its system will lower the costs associated with building the stations, but it will also generate a lot of revenue for the automaker, since every other company will need to use its own battery pack design in order to be compatible with the stations.