Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has unveiled the second generation of its battery swap station in Beijing. The Nio Power Swap Station 2.0 now enables 312 battery swaps per day. Nio has also signed a strategic deal with Chinese petroleum company Sinopec.
The cooperation’s primary goal is to build a network of 5,000 charging and swapping stations for electric car batteries in the next few years. The first outlet just opened at Sinopec’s Chaoying Station in Beijing. The agreement also covers Battery as a Service (BaaS) developments, vehicle procurement and “scenarios” around the charging or swapping experience. Nio says the aim was to “building an innovative collaboration model between the global energy and automotive industries.”
Speaking of which, Nio claims the Power Swap Station 2.0 to be smart and the world’s first mass-produced battery swap station that allows the vehicle to manoeuvre into the station automatically. Each station has 239 sensors and four collaborating cloud computing systems. Users may complete a self-service battery swap with one click, Nio says, while staying in the car. The system can complete up to 312 battery swaps per day, significantly improving swapping efficiency, the company claims. It is indeed three times more than the previous generation.
According to Yuzhuo Zhang, Sinopec’s Chairman and Secretary of the Leading Party Member Group, the state-owned company plans to deploy 5,000 battery charging and swapping stations. The partnership with Nio, says Zhang, would enable both to leverage their advantages, deepen the collaboration in a broader scope, and ultimately achieve more significant results.
William Li, founder, chairman, and CEO of Nio, claims Sinopec’s collaboration would efficiently consolidate their resources.
Nio had in the past been troubled with financial difficulties but has been on the up. January saw them placing two bonds totalling 1.5 billion dollars as reported. The company had also shown positive financial results for 2020 this March with sales of electric cars having recovered in China. Nio delivered 17,353 electric cars in Q4 2020, compared to 8,224 deliveries in Q4 2019. Throughout the full-year 2020, Nio delivered 43,728 electric cars, more than double the 20,565 delivered in 2019. Plans to expand to Europe appear to remain on hold.