Chinese electric-car pioneer Nio, which set records on the famed German Nürburgring track, is setting up battery-swapping stations in Europe. The idea is that you can buy a Nio without a battery; a 75-kWh battery pack costs $8700 but can be leased for around $135 per month. The company is planning to set up 1,000 battery swapping stations outside of China in the next three years, mostly in Europe. The stations can swap batteries in a few minutes, which is much faster than charging.
Nio has already been selling its ES8 SUV in Norway, with 800 sales and two swapping stations; the ES8 costs around $52,000, not includnig the battery. Two sedans, the ET5 and ET7, will go on sale in Europe this year. The swapping stations are made in Hungary.
The battery-swap approach is different from Stellantis’ more traditional fixed batteries, but Stellantis has its own twist: the capability of making the same vehicle with either batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. The latter may be more practical for many applications, particularly for towing long distances and perhaps for taxis and police cars; but battery swapping would also work for these, given enough swap stations. Time will tell which approach ends up being more popular.
Via Automotive News, via Reuters.