Chinese EV Maker NIO Negotiates With Rivals to License Battery Swap Technology

Zhang Hui, Vice President of NIO Europe, said recently that the electric vehicle (EV) firm is negotiating with Chinese and international automakers to license its battery swap system, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. NIO aims to build 1,000 battery swap stations across Europe and the U.S. by 2025.

NIO believes that battery swap technology can win over European drivers who are reluctant to buy EVs due to the scarcity of charging stations and the time it takes to recharge. Automakers who purchase swap systems will need to use NIO‘s platform to produce cars so that the batteries can be installed.

While about 50 companies in China are now working on battery swap systems, NIO is the only one to commercialize the system so far. The company’s swap system requires unscrewing the bottom of the car and replacing the battery through a hatch on the floor of a battery swap station. The whole process takes about five minutes.

As of March 31, NIO had laid out a total of 884 swap stations in China, of which 235 are freeway swap stations. There are also 727 supercharging stations and 4,048 supercharging piles.

In addition, NIO, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by way of introduction, is testing operations within the field of mobile phones, in order to expand the ecology of In-Vehicle Infotainment. William Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO of NIO, said the company is still in the research stage of producing cell phones. The firm is prompted by the users’ feedback about the possibility of having a phone that can connect better with the car.

SEE ALSO: NIO Founder William Li Confirms Plans for Smartphone Business