These batteries could reduce the downtime of commercial EVs and reduce the load at peak charging times
A few companies are already working on swappable batteries, including Nio in China
These developments could lead to standardized swappable batteries in personal vehicles
Toyota entered a partnership with Isuzu, Hino, and Yamamoto Transport in order to develop cartridge batteries that can be easily swapped for use in commercial vehicles.
This solution aims to reduce the downtime of commercial electric vehicles and spread out the demand for electricity throughout the day.
Large fleets of commercial electric vehicles are a challenge to automakers and businesses because vehicles used by businesses need to be capable of working all day with a minimum of downtime in order to maximize their profitability.
This means that electric vehicles need to have a long range and capabilities that allow them to complete a day of work on a single charge, which leads to them having large batteries that are very expensive.
This also means that the only time to charge all of these vehicles is at night, which could create a strain on the electric grid.
In order to avoid both of these issues, Toyota and its partners are working on a standardized cartridge design for batteries, which can then be swapped in a matter of minutes to restore the full range of the vehicle.
This also has the advantage of making it possible to charge some batteries during the day when the vehicles are working.
This technology could trickle down to private vehicles in the coming years, which could boost EV adoption by removing the worries and inconveniences related to the charging process and the limited range.
In China, automaker Nio has introduced a battery swapping scheme a few years ago and it has now refined its process enough to reduce the time it takes for a vehicle to drive in a station and drive out with a new battery to only 3 minutes.