NIO recently opened its first battery swap station in Europe, situated in Slagelse, Denmark as the first stage of its expansion into Europe which includes planned installations in Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.
Unlike plug-in charging stations, once a NIO car enters a station, the autonomous process raises the vehicle, mechanically unscrews and removes the depleted battery and replaces it with a charged one, adding up to 500 km of range. There are currently over 1000 Power Swap Stations already in operation worldwide, with the majority residing in China. NIO now plans to open over 100 stations across Europe this year.
Whilst the convenience of swapping out the entire battery pack over plugging in and waiting is a consumer benefit, the solution is currently only available for NIO vehicles. It requires a specific design to the underside of the vehicle, battery pack arrangement and a wireless battery management system (BMS) to allow for swap out. SAR’s EV Charging Service presents roll-out forecasts for EV charging station infrastructure by 50 countries globally. Whilst this is a novel approach, SAR believes it’s unlikely to become the dominant method of EV recharge, at least in the next 10 years.