What is Battery Swapping?

As the country begins to invest more in the electric vehicle industry, with second-hand electric cars being more in demand than ever before, new concepts and designs are starting to emerge. And this includes electric vehicle battery swapping.


But, what does this entail? Are there any benefits? Find out more here at Elite

What is Electric Vehicle Battery Swapping?

The name doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Rather than plugging in an electric car at an EV charging station or home charge points, battery swapping entails replacing an exhausted battery with a fully charged one. When compared to the standard 30-minute waiting time, or in certain cases, even longer, this approach usually takes just under 5 minutes. Which can be seen as a positive for those who only have a short amount of time available.


The EV charging procedure means driving to a battery switching station, which then takes care of the rest. This involves lifting the EV, removing the chassis and battery bolts and finally replaying the empty electric vehicle battery. All of which are done completely autonomously.


Although there is still a long way to go until these stations are accessible to all BEV (battery electric vehicle) owners, the swapping station can accommodate multiple battery capacities ranging from 75kWh to 150kWh.


Nio Battery Swapping Stations

Towards the end of 2021, the Chinese automaker Nio developed the concept of electric vehicle battery swapping. Currently, there are around 900 battery switching stations in operation across China and Norway. The company are planning on spreading throughout the remainder of Europe with various swaps taking place every hour. 


As it stands, Nio does not have any stations in the UK. Yet, this is expected to change within the next year. In 2023, they are releasing the ET5 across Europe. 


What are the Benefits of Battery Swapping?

The main advantage is that battery swapping is a much quicker EV charging solution. Recharging an electric vehicle battery takes longer than just entirely switching the battery altogether. The process of replacing the battery and reassembling can range from anywhere between 1 minute and 5 minutes. 


Whereas, at EV charging stations, depending on the charging rate, this can take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. And, it is not recommended that fast charging solutions should be used on a regular basis, as this can affect the electric car battery capacity. So, for those on the go or who do not have enough time to wait at a charging station, this may be a viable option. 


The burden of ownership is lifted. Because electric car batteries are expensive, the opportunity to lease one for a reasonable monthly charge could make modern electric cars more accessible to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford one altogether.

Are there any Disadvantages?

As they require a huge amount of space, battery switching stations are costly to construct. One of these stations costs roughly £600,000 to build, without including the land or operating costs once it is up and running. A Tesla Supercharger with ten stalls could be installed in the same space as one battery-swapping station, which actually would be faster. 


Producing replaceable batteries in large quantities could have a negative impact on the environment. The entire notion of battery swapping is based on a continual cycle of reusing batteries. So then, how will companies, like Nio, be able to produce enough batteries to meet the needs of EV drivers all globally?  And, what will the environmental repercussions be? 


As the government has made a point of wanting to become greener, with the 2030 ban on fossil-fuelled cars, this may feel to some like a step in the wrong direction. Portable EV chargers are a great alternative to battery swapping and waiting at a public charging station. This way, EV drivers get to decide when and where they charge and for how long. For more information, click here


Elite Electric Vehicle

Here at Elite EV Charge, we provide temporary and permanent mobile charging solutions for EVs across the UK. Our team keep up to date with the latest news and terminology surrounding the electric vehicle industry. Including “battery swapping”.

To receive a quote on our mobile chargers, or to speak to one of our specialists, fill in our online form. Alternatively, follow us on Instagram. Our social media team posts daily updates on the best-selling EVs.