AutosGeely and Nio collaborate on universal battery swapping standard

Geely and Nio collaborate on universal battery swapping standard

Station in Suzhou, China
Station in Suzhou, China
Images source: © Getty Images | NurPhoto

1:34 PM EST, November 29, 2023

While the world concentrates on increasing battery charging speed, China is keen on replacing batteries at dedicated stations. Geely is the newest manufacturer that is collaborating with Nio to develop a universal service standard.

A car drives on to a special lift and is raised; a newly charged unit replaces the exhausted one. This whole process takes merely a few minutes. This sight isn't an anomaly in China. Nio operates over 1,300 battery swapping stations locally, with only 10 in Europe. However, this number could be set to increase rapidly.

NIO’s Newest Generation Power Swap Station 2.0

This probability is heightened considering that Geely, which will be partnering with NIO on a shared standard, owns popular brands like Volvo, Polestar, and Zeekr. Reports from Reuters confirm that Geely maintains about 300 of its own stations and had plans a few years back for 5,000 stations by 2025.

Prior to this, Nio had signed a similar agreement with the Changan Automobile Company.

Uniform cells would facilitate their substitution irrespective of the car brand. Europeans, in contrast, have chosen to widen the charging network. As one engineer from the region mentioned, the station model necessitates producing at least twice the number of cells - one as a backup and the other in use in the car - compared to the charger model. Given that cell cost is a major obstacle for the European automotive industry, this is a significant issue.

However, there are undeniable advantages to cell replacement and it isn't just about the reduced time taken for the car to be road-ready once again. Battery swapping stations could double as energy banks, providing relief to the power grid during high-demand periods.

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