Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup Nio intends to build 1,000 battery-swapping stations in China in 2023 to bring the total number of such facilities to 2,300 by year-end 2023, according to a report by Reuters.
The development, which was confirmed by the startup's Founder and Chairman William Li on Tuesday, is an expansion of its initial plan of 400 stations, after Li found more of them are needed to improve user experience after his trips to northeastern China and lower-tier cities in Zhejiang
Drivers will be able to replace depleted packs quickly with fully charged ones, rather than plugging the vehicle into a charging point, a process that it says could help mitigate the growing strains placed on power grids as millions of drivers juice up.
Nio, the breakout EV startup in China, has been building these stations since 2018, and is betting this new charging technology will eclipse other domestic EV brands or even the industry leader Tesla.
These plans are not peculiar to Nio, as other formidable competitors have announced plans to build swap stations. Sinopec Group another local EV player, in April 2021, announced plans to build 5,000 battery-swap stations. Chinese group, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), also launched a modular battery-swap service in 10 Chinese cities in 2022.
Collectively, all of these Chinese companies have pledged to build as many as 26,000 stations by 2025, according to a report by Bloomberg.