The electric car manufacturer Nio is not yet as popular as its many competitors, yet it clearly has the upper hand in one thing.
We are talking about battery replacement technology for electric cars, which replaces lengthy stops for chargers. At the same time, Tesla came up with this idea in 2013, according to which the battery replacement of the Model S should take only 90 seconds. But in the end, the concept came to fruition, and instead Tesla began building its network of Superchargers, which is also unique in many ways.
However, the Chinese carmaker Nio did not give up the vision of quickly replacing a discharged electric car battery with a new one, and began to apply this concept extensively. Currently, the Nio has about 504 so-called Power Swap stations for battery replacement in many countries around the world, in which, according to a recent post on Twitter, 4,000,000 exchanges have already taken place.
The whole exchange process is relatively simple. It all starts with Nio’s smartphone app, where the driver will find the nearest Power Swap station. The application notifies him how many batteries are charged in the station and how many drivers are already waiting to be replaced.
After arriving at the station, the driver leaves the car and the technician backs up with him to a special platform, where a fully automatic process takes place. The system lifts the car, loosens the bolts, lowers the battery, installs a new one, tightens the bolts, lowers the car, and is done. The whole process should only take about 3 minutes.
Owners of new electric cars have the entire service free of charge. Owners of older cars, respectively, then pay for the capacity of the new battery. Therefore, if the electric car arrives with a battery charged to 20 kWh out of a total of 100 kWh, it will pay to charge the missing 80 kWh for the new battery. So you pay for charging, not service.
In China, for example, battery exchange stations are located both in cities and along highways. Traveling with an electric car over longer distances is thus significantly faster when replacing batteries instead of recharging.