CATL presents battery swapping system for trucks
The Chinese battery manufacturer CATL has presented a battery-swapping solution for heavy-duty electric trucks. The system, called Qiji Energy, consists of exchange stations, battery packs and a cloud platform. The battery-swapping process is said to take only a few minutes.
Chinese media outlets reported on the solution referring to a virtual presentation event by CATL. The swapping system called Qiji Energy works with 171 kWh battery packs based on LFP cells from CATL. Heavy-duty electric trucks are supposed to be able to use one to three of these battery packs at a time, depending on demand, with battery swapping taking only “a few minutes”. The batteries can be swapped out from trucks with a wide range of wheelbases.
In addition to the batteries and the battery-swapping stations as hardware components, a cloud platform completes the solution. This is intended to link the operators of the battery exchange stations, truck drivers and fleet operators with each other and to support hauliers in planning truck routes and managing the vehicles. The platform will also be used to book the swap stations.
According to CATL, the service can reduce operating costs for a truck (which travels around 200,000 kilometres annually) by 30,000 to 60,000 yuan (3,880 to 7,760 euros) annually. This estimate is based on the assumption that the price of fuel and new vehicles is the same as today.
CATL already introduced a battery exchange solution for passenger cars in January 2022 under the name Evogo. In April 2022, the first four of these stations went into operation in the Chinese city of Xiamen. CATL has so far been able to win Aiways and Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën as automotive partners for its Evogo solution.