Is NIO battery swapping a good idea for EVs?
I assume we all know the story of Better Place. If some of you don’t, here’s a brief: this particular startup had an idea about battery swapping and completely modeled their business around it which turned them into rags from riches.
Tesla dropped its own battery swapping technology in 2014, where they set up only one battery-swapping station and quickly abandoned the project.
So when Chinese start-up company NIO came up with this idea, it was a bit of a surprise. However, beating all the odds, they recently made their 500,000th swap, a fair number. This indicates that they have figured out a way to make battery swapping reasonable for the EVs.
So the point here is that if charging consumes a lot of time than refueling your tank, then why not swap the battery pack to a new fully charged one?
As a result, it looks like the battery swap has been one of the well-received power services. Nio’s battery swapping system completes the process of swapping in 3 minutes with their complete automatic battery swap.
This is what the automaker wrote in a press release:
Power Swap is at the core of NIO’s “chargeable, swappable, upgradable” user experience, alongside a comprehensive battery and vehicle e-powertrain inspection. The infrastructure also enables users to continuously enjoy the benefits of the development of battery technology, with the ease of upgrading to a higher capacity and better performance simply through swapping.
Furthermore, NIO is using this battery swap power as a weapon to sell their cars. It reminds us of how Tesla offered unlimited free supercharging in the early years of Model S sales.
Nio’s battery swap stations are built with temporary pieces of equipment as these stations are designed to move location to location as per requirement. So this can be assembled on-field very swiftly and this is how a new location would be set up. Nio’s battery swap stations are situated in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, but it is swelling with 131 stations across China.
Well, Nio’s battery rental system option is a major attraction for some EV owners since it allows them to rent an EV battery pack for a day– probably a big pack for a vacation- for as little as $10/day.
With all said, it still looks like the enormous investment made for the soon-to-be-obsolete purpose of resolving long charging time and restricted range which is rapidly improving, a lot meaningless in the long run. However, consumers would prefer to keep it as an option for backup in their cars.
Also read: Electric Car Market in Europe & USA
Some EV consumers seem to be liking the battery swap system at present since it is far easier to swap the battery than to charge it. However, with fast-paced technology advancing each day, the range of EVs is increasing drastically and the charge time is getting lesser. Let us wait and watch if the Battery swapping is going to be a good idea in the long run or meant to get obsolete over time. Ultimately, there is a potential of battery swapping becoming a hit in commercial electric vehicles. Fleet operators would swap packs at their own facilities and distribute battery swaps among various electric trucks.
EV Duniya Editorial: This article is written by Madhuri Pawar