There are those who recharge the batteries and those who exchange them in a special station. And NIO thinks above all of the latter, with its battery swap technology that wants to become a standard in the electricity sector. The Chinese manufacturer has big plans for its network of stations where cars enter a platform to remove the used battery and leave with a brand new (or recharged) unit.
According to NIO president Qin Lihong, the electric car manufacturer plans to install 4,000 charging stations for battery swapping in the territory (China and beyond) by 2025. In China there will be 3000, the remaining 1000 in the markets (including European) where the brand will intervene. At the end of 2021 there should be at least 700; currently, at the time of writing, 300 are available.
Geely: “Battery Swap, eight reasons to believe it”
Nio has a number of data to support this investment. After almost going upside down in early 2020 with the Covid crisis forcing everyone into lockdown, the company has been able to recover and has recently exceeded 120 thousand units sold. Therefore it is now essential to guarantee its numerous customers an adequate service to allow them to move without having the anxiety of autonomy.
Just for comparison, last month NIO delivered 8,083 electric cars; in Italy, the figure for June speaks of 1000 fewer cars on the entire electric list, including Tesla, 500 and Twingo. This is a significant force in the global electricity market, to be taken into account in the market balance, particularly in China, where American and European manufacturers also compete.
The Battery Swap, for its part, is not a topic of conversation, at least not in a mainstream sense, in our latitudes: after all, a critical mass of cars capable of carrying out this particular supply of energy is needed to take hold.