Nio to install 1,000 battery-swap stations in China this year

Nio delivers an update on plans to expand its battery-swapping network in China. Instead of 400, the EV maker now targets installing 1,000 such stations. Nio also updated the timeline to launch its next-gen battery exchange stations.

++ This article has been updated. Kindly continue reading below. ++

The news comes from William Li, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, who published a statement via the Nio app.

“We have set a new goal of adding 1,000 battery swap stations in 2023, for a cumulative total of more than 2,300 stations by the end of 2023,” Li said.

This comes as a bit of a surprise – the original plan of adding 400 such swap facilities in China this year was announced on the Nio day not even two months ago. However, the executive, in its statement, referred to his own experiences when travelling in China and said he felt that the previously announced plan was “far from enough” and that the company needed to accelerate the deployment.

The expansion may have to do with location as well. The new plan envisions about 400 additional battery exchange sites near highways and service areas. However, an additional 600 sites are destined to come in urban areas, thus increasing Nio’s efforts to build the facility in third- and fourth-tier cities and counties with a certain number of users but no battery swap stations, Li said.

Moreover, the company has begun producing third-generation battery swap stations. Li expects a full scale-up in April and the deployment to accelerate in May. He added the team was already working on all aspects of preparation for this new goal and that from June, Nio expects to maintain a construction rate of 120-150 battery swap stations per month.

The company unveiled the latest battery swap station at its “Power Day” last summer. It specified a storage capacity of up to 21 battery packs, up from 13 in its previous generation and five in first-generation stations. The third-generation battery swap station can exchange a power pack 408 times daily, a 30 per cent increase over the second generation.

When discussing the plans that day, Nio said that by 2025, it would have a battery swap network covering nine vertical, nine horizontal, and 19 urban areas in China. The promise is that by 2025, more than 90 per cent of Nio customers will have at least one battery swap station within 3 km of their homes.

In Europe, Nio envisions 1,000 battery swap stations in the long run – so far. Still, the going has been slow, with the company reportedly having installed ten facilities by January 2023 with another seven in the pipeline. By the end of 2023, Nio plans to have 120 such stations on the continent.

The CN EV Post notes that Nio had not added any battery swap stations in the past month and puts the number of such facilities in China at 1,313 as of 22 January 2023.

Update 14 April 2023

Nio has launched the first ten third-generation battery swap stations in ten Chinese cities. The cities include Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hefei, Chengdu, Haikou, Wuxi, Zhengzhou, Qingdao and Harbin. As of 13 April, Nio has 1,342 battery exchange stations in China, 351 of which are located on highways., (update)


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