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How One Chinese EV Company Made Battery Swapping Work


Battery swapping is a technology that could solve one key barrier for EV adoption: consumers’ range anxiety and the long waiting time for battery charging. Wouldn’t you feel more assured on a weekend trip if you knew you could stop at a swap station and replace depleted battery packs with fully charged ones in five minutes? But this isn’t easy to do, as Tesla and Better Place’s past failures. In China, however, battery swapping has been a reality for a couple of years. How did Chinese companies like Nio make it work with 2,300 swapping stations nationwide? What can companies outside China learn from the Chinese experience?

Range anxiety has been one of the most significant barriers for electric vehicle (EV) adoption among consumers. For example, if I wanted to drive a Tesla Model 3 from Paris to the famous Mont Saint-Michel, which is roughly 360 km (or 220 miles away), I would need to carefully plan my route and stop at one of Tesla’s Supercharger stations near Paris before heading east, as there are simply no other Supercharger stations along the way.




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