Several have tried and failed, but Nio might have figured out how to make battery swapping viable for electric cars as it completes its 500,000th swap.
Over the years I have been covering electric vehicles, I’ve seen several companies attempt to add value to EVs by using swappable battery packs.
The idea is that if charging takes longer than refueling a tank of gas, we could just swap a battery pack for a fully charged one.
A startup called Better Place built its entire business model around it and went bankrupt.
Tesla rolled out its own battery swapping technology back in 2014, but it only built one battery-swapping station and quickly killed the project.
It’s why we were a bit skeptical when Nio, a Chinese EV manufacturer, launched its own battery-swapping scheme with its first electric vehicles back in 2018.
Today, they are proving that battery swapping actually works as they announce having completed their 500,000th battery swap:
“As of May 26, 2020, NIO Power has completed over 500,000 battery swaps, becoming one of NIO’s most well-received power services.”
Nio’s battery swapping system can perform a fully-automatic battery swap in 3 minutes.