$NIO Battery Swapping Challenges $TSLA

Financial Times headline: China’s Nio bets on battery swapping in Tesla challenge

Electric carmaker hopes pricey technology will give it an upper hand in fight with US rival


“Lots of our users tell us that battery swapping was the reason they chose this car,” Shen Fei, Nio’s vice-president for power management, told the Financial Times, adding that many drivers in Chinese cities lack access to home-based electric vehicle charging. “Battery swapping is already core to our competitiveness.”


Global interest in battery swapping has faded in recent years, partly due to high costs. Tesla ended a two-year trial of its own swapping system in 2015 after tepid customer uptake. The technology has benefited from Beijing’s strong support. Last year, the government made battery swapping a requirement for receiving subsidies on electric vehicles priced at Rmb300,000 or above, in a move that benefited Nio.

An appeal of battery swapping for drivers is that it lowers upfront costs. Nio launched a subscription option for batteries last year that allows customers to buy cars without a power pack, cutting about $10,000 from the purchase price.

NIO Power Swap Station 2.0 Starts Operation in Beijing


As a smart battery swap system enabled by software-defined cloud computing, NIO Power Swap Station 2.0 is the world’s first mass-produced battery swap station that allows the vehicle to maneuver into the station automatically. Each NIO Power Swap Station 2.0 has 239 sensors and four collaborating cloud computing systems that maximize the application of visual recognition technologies. Enabled by the technology, users can complete a self-service battery swap with only one click while staying in the car. The system is capable of completing up to 312 battery swaps per day, significantly improving swapping efficiency.

Sinopec and NIO also signed a strategic partnership agreement. In addition to battery charging and swapping network development. The two will comprehensively cooperate in new materials, smart EV tech., Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS), vehicle purchasing, and recreational facility constructions to further leverage their advantages in building an innovative collaboration model between the global energy and automotive industries.

According to Yuzhuo Zhang, Sinopec’s Chairman and Secretary of the Leading Party Member Group, Sinopec is accelerating its transformation from traditional petroleum product sales to an integrated energy service provider of oil, gas, hydrogen, electricity, and non-oil businesses, focusing on developing new dimensions such as battery swapping high-power DC fast charging. Over the next few years, Sinopec plans to deploy 5,000 battery charging and swapping stations. The partnership with NIO will enable both to leverage their advantages, deepen the collaboration in a broader scope, and ultimately achieve more significant results, promoting a high-quality economic and social development and a higher quality of life for all.

Nio has now done two million electric car battery swaps


According to Nio, one driver alone completed 654 battery swaps while the most travelled driver has used 67 battery swap stations across China.

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