Nio unveils 500 kW charger, teases 3rd-gen battery swap stations

by Aug 12, 2022

At its second Power Day, the Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has announced that it will start installing the new 500 kW and 650 amps fast chargers in China and Europe this year. The company did not disclose where the first new fast chargers would be installed, only that these would start being installed by the end of this year. The network may potentially be huge, since Nio joined forces with energy giant Shell towards the end of last year. This partnership is specifically focused on a strategic partnership to collaborate on charging and battery swap facilities in both China and Europe.

The agreement is for Nio and Shell to construct and operate battery charging and swapping facilities. Nio and Shell plan to jointly install 100 battery swap stations in China by 2025 and construct and operate pilot stations in Europe from 2022. For Shell, the deal offered the benefits of Nio’s already existing and fairly extensive network of fast-charging stations, battery swapping stations and destination chargers in China. For Nio, the European part of the deal is particularly interesting for its further expansion. The Chinese electric car company will not only have a partner with attractive locations for possible battery exchange stations in Europe, as part of the agreement, Shell’s charging station network in Europe will also be available to Nio users.

The company is also revealing more about its third generation battery swapping station. After the launch of its second-generation battery swapping station last year, Nio has now allowed a first preview of the third generation of the technology at Power Day. This will offer even greater capacity and a more flexible layout. Nio’s third-generation battery swap station is currently nearing the end of development and is still being tested. Nio has said that in China by 2025, it will have a battery swap network covering nine vertical highways, nine horizontal highways, and 19 urban areas. The promise here 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. Most of these battery swap stations will be in China. Of the 4,000 battery swap stations NIO plans to have installed worldwide by 2025, 1,000 of these will be outside China – presumably, since Nio is now selling electric cars in Europe, most of these will be focused here. Nio has said it will build 20 battery exchange stations in Norway by the end of 2022.

Nio said at its most recent Power Day, that it is testing the use of stored batteries to provide power back to the grid below a given battery swapping station. In preparation, the Chinese automaker has already completed vehicle-to-grid (V2G) testing and says it will implement this technology into its applications in the future. For its planned network of battery swap stations in Europe, Nio will open a factory in Hungary. Charging columns will also be manufactured there to meet demand in Europe, as with the battery swapping stations. In July 2021, Nio received the TÜV certifications to be able to sell and operate its battery exchange stations and chargers in all EU member states.

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