NIO Collaborating With Changan On Battery Swapping

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NIO is far and away the global leader in electric car battery swapping — right now and historically. It has rolled out rolled out 2,100 battery swap stations and has done 32 million battery swaps. Most of its battery swap stations are in China, but it also now has some in Europe. If I think of battery swapping, I think of NIO, Better Place, and Gogoro. At long last, though, another electric carmaker seems very interested in the EV solution. China’s Changan Automobile has signed a partnership agreement with NIO.

So, what are NIO and Changan doing together? “The two parties will jointly facilitate the formulation of standards for swappable batteries, build and share the battery swapping network, develop swappable vehicles, and establish an efficient battery asset management mechanism,” NIO writes in a press release.

In case you’re not familiar with Changan: It’s a large Chinese auto group that dates back 161 years, and 39 years in terms of producing vehicles. It has 22 factories worldwide, and 12 manufacturing bases. Like automakers the world over, Changan is focusing much more on electric vehicles for its future development, and I have to assume it has a long-term visions of complete electrification. (If not, its leadership is being stupid. But let’s assume common sense despite there not being a clear target year to become 100% zero emissions.)

As already noted, NIO has 2,100 “Power Swap Stations” in operation already, and the expectation is that a total of 1,000 new ones will have been installed in 2023 by the end of the year. The NIO Power Swap is unique to NIO, and the company says it has 1,600 related patents.

“Expanding the recharging network sits at the core of the development of the smart electric vehicle industry. It’s proven that battery swap is a quick, efficient, and sustainable recharging solution to smart electric vehicles,” NIO adds. “Since 2020, multiple authorities in China have released documents and guidelines, such as the New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021–2035), the Implementation Plan for Further Enhancing the Service Capability of Charging and Swapping Infrastructure, and the Notice on Launching Pilot Program of Swappable New Energy Vehicles, in an effort to promote the establishment of battery swapping network and standards, encourage wider adoption of the battery swapping model, as well as support the formulation of standards for the battery swapping architecture on the battery electric vehicles, universal battery swapping platform, and swappable batteries, which will help maximize resource utilization. The partnership between Changan Automobile and NIO is a specific practice in line with these guidelines.”

Let’s see what comes of this big new partnership! Perhaps battery swapping will become much more common than many of us have expected.

“As China is doubling down on new energy and smart connected vehicles, the implementation of NIO’s battery swapping model marks a significant milestone for the industry,” said Huarong ZHU, Chairman of Changan Automobile, “The partnership between Changan Automobile and NIO on battery swap is of great importance, contributing to the high-quality development of China’s new energy vehicle industry. This partnership with NIO won’t be limited to battery swap. We will continuously strengthen our cooperation in other platform and fundamental areas, including energy, charging and swapping, vehicle development, and ecosystem, so as to jointly promote the high-quality development of the industry and build a sound, shared and mutually beneficial ecosystem.”

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