For some time now we have become accustomed to seeing more and more fast charging stations for electric cars in service areas, or chargers in urban areas and commercial areas, with parking spaces reserved for electric cars in the charging process. But very soon we will begin to see how other systems that aim to revolutionize the electric car scene proliferateas is the case with battery swap stations.
The Chinese manufacturer NIO is one of the brands that is promoting this technology the most. You will recognize it for being a modular construction, with the appearance of a car wash, in which we will park our electric car and a few minutes later it will have another battery, fully charged. NIO already has 1,263 battery exchange stations, the vast majority in China.
And now it is in the process of expanding into Europe, where it is not only starting to sell its cars, but also to install battery swap stations.
20 more battery swap stations for Germany
Today we know that NIO has closed an agreement to install 20 battery swap stations in the charger parks of German publicly owned energy company EnBW. In the coming months we will learn about new agreements of this type. EnBW itself hopes to announce more stations and new agreements with NIO. NIO opened its first battery swapping station in Germany in September and expects to have 120 stations in Europe by the end of 2023.
The business model proposed by NIO involves offering its range of high-end electric sedans and SUVs, called to compete with Tesla, through a kind of leasing and subscription services. The client would “rent” their cars for prices around 1,199 and 1,295 euros, depending on the duration of the contract. Y that subscription would include access to its battery swapping stationsso that the customer can make a quick change of batteries when the charge is running low and receive a fully charged 75 kWh battery in a few minutes.
Although battery swapping may seem sophisticated, cumbersome, and expensive, the automation that allows the process to be completed in minutes is much faster than charging on some of the most powerful fast chargers on the market today.
By the end of 2023, it is expected that there will already be 120 NIO battery exchange stations in Europe.
We know that NIO isn’t the only brand advocating battery swapping, but it is the one that is doing the most to promote it. We know that the electric platform released by the MG4 Electric is prepared for the rapid exchange of batteries. But MG Motor has yet to announce any plans to introduce battery swapping stations in Europe.