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Oslo built the first Power Swap Station in Europe

Nio’s battery swap technology allows electric cars to reverse into the recharging station without even a touch of the steering wheel. People don’t need to plug it in though, instead, the battery will be swapped for a fresh one, at this facility in Norway belonging to Chinese electric carmaker, Nio.

The technology is already widespread in China, but the new Power Swap Station, just south of Oslo, is Europe’s first.

The company hopes that swapping the entire battery will appeal to drivers worried about the range of electric cars, or who simply don’t like queuing to recharge.

It is convenient for us to book a slot on Nio’s app, and once inside the station, all we have to do is park on the designated markings and wait in the car.

people can hear bolts being undone as the battery is automatically removed from underneath the vehicle and replaced with a fully- charged one. It takes less than five minutes to swap the battery and then people will be ready to go again with a full battery.

“You’re not standing outside and taking 30 to 40 minutes like you do when you recharge. So it’s more effective,” says Espen Byrjall, Nio’s power and operations manager in Norway.” There’s no battery degradation. You always get a healthy battery. So, you can keep the cars longer.”

This station can handle up to 240 swaps a day, and the firm plans to create 20 here in Norway. It’s also partnered with energy giant Shell, to roll them out across Europe, with the aim of installing 1000 by 2025. “It’s going to be a network that lets you drive all over Europe,” says Mr Byrjall.

While it is more effective to swap the battery, installing battery-swapping infrastructure remains more expensive than charge points. In Europe, home charger can be seen almost everywhere and most drivers suggest that there may be no need to swap battery at all. Unlike in china, there are more apartment buildings than you can see in Europe. As a result, the technology are mostly used to upgrade batteries by the drivers.

Many companies are working on similar technology, such as the California start-up, Ample. In addition, Honda, Yamaha and Piaggio are also preparing to offer switchable batteries for electric motorbikes and light vehicles.

As fast-charging points are more common in Europe, Nio is not betting entirely on battery swaps, it’s also supplying home chargers and installing superchargers on roads too.

Post time: May-19-2022

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