InsideEVs reported that the very first locally manufactured battery swap station just came off the assembly line at the NIO Power Europe Plant in Hungary, which has already begun operating.
One of the first new markets for the modular station is Germany. But before the year’s end, these battery swap stations will also be available in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. Meanwhile, there are already several in Norway from China.
Notably, the launch of the company’s flagship premium vehicle NIO ET7 and this infrastructure expansion are relatively linked.
A brief presentation of NIO’s Power Swap Station 2.0, which was unveiled in Hungary in April 2021, is shown below:
According to InsideEVs, a drained battery (or an older/previous generation battery when upgrading) may be inserted into one of the system’s 14 total battery slots, which consist of 13 battery packs (vs. 5 in the 1.0 edition) and one empty slot. NIO estimates that they can switch 312 batteries daily, which equates to 4.6 minutes or about 277 seconds per swap (including the automatic parking).
Furthermore, long-distance trips should be feasible with such infrastructure and compatible electric vehicles, which are currently limited to NIO models. Bjrn Nyland’s 1,000 km challenge has recently shown it at a rate comparable to that of internal combustion engine vehicles. However, the question of whether it will be a more affordable alternative to rapid charging remains unanswered.
By the end of 2025, NIO intends to have more than 4,000 battery swap stations operational, with around 1,000 of them being outside of China. It is also worth noting that the company’s home market now has 1,100 stations deployed as of this week.
In order to achieve its goals in the European markets, NIO aims to further boost its investments in Hungary and construct an operation center.
“NIO Power Europe Plant has a total area of approximately 10,000 square meters. As NIO’s first factory overseas, it serves as the center of manufacturing, service and R&D for NIO’s power products and services in Europe. With the factory put into operation, NIO will further improve its power network and service efficiency, as well as user experience in Europe.”
Remarkably, Nio is able to sell its automobiles using the battery as a service business model, where clients buy the vehicle without a battery and then pay a monthly fee for the battery and battery swap network.