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Battery swapping might still boom, for taxis or ride-hailing

Despite quite a few challenges, EV battery swapping might still have a future, albeit with taxis and ride-hailing solutions rather than private passenger vehicles, according to a pair of current reports from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

China currently has 550 battery-swapping stations, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the 112,000 charging stations China installed in December 2020 alone. But the quantity of battery-swapping stations in China is still effectively ahead of the quantity of hydrogen fueling stations in the nation, according to BNEF.

Many of these stations are operated by Chinese automaker Nio, for exclusive use by its consumers. The corporation currently has about 180 stations, and mentioned it passed 500,000 battery swaps in May 2020.

However, for battery swapping to definitely compete with charging, stations will require to service autos from diverse producers. That’s probably to prove a challenge, as it would call for automakers to agree on hardware requirements, one particular of the reports noted.

Yet the Bloomberg analyses located “some causes for optimism.”

Nissan e-NV200 taxis in Barcelona

Nissan e-NV200 taxis in Barcelona

China’s battery-swapping network is increasing just as quite a few cities start switching to electric taxis, adding that Shenzhen switched its 21,000 taxis to electric energy in 2018. That tends to make for a lot of the exact same model of car, with drivers eager to keep on the road as a lot as doable.

The key benefit of battery swapping is speedy turnarounds (Nio previously mentioned a swap requires about 3 minutes), which could make electric taxis far more appealing to operators. Public charging has in the previous been the limiting factor for electric-cab usability in main-metro regions.

Ample battery swapping

Ample battery swapping

While the United States has no battery-swapping infrastructure to speak of, California announced final year that it will mandate more EVs for ride-hailing. The state’s Air Resources Board is at present in the approach of figuring out these guidelines.

Startup Ample even hopes to resolve the interoperability dilemma with its personal stations and modular battery architecture. Ample claims its stations can total a swap in ten minutes, and is reportedly operating with Uber on battery swapping for a fleet of Nissan Leafs in San Francisco.


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