Chinese electric car maker NIO has opened its first battery-changing station in Europe in Norway. The Nordic state was chosen because it is the country with the highest adoption rate for electric cars.
NIO plans to open 19 more such centers on the old continent in 2022.
The second generation Power Swap Station 2.0 was opened near Drammen. It includes 14 battery pack slots and is compatible with the NIO ES8 model, but also with future machines that the company will launch. More than 200 ES8 cars are currently registered in Norway.
Replacing a battery pack is done by a robotic system in less than 3 minutes.
Also in NIO stations, customers can charge the batteries, without changing them, at the available fast charging points (150 kW).
In China, NIO has 700 stations and wants to reach a total of 4,000 (including 1,000 outside the Asian state) by 2025.
They found a way to sell cheaper cars
Thanks to this system, NIO can sell cheaper cars. The company offers cars without batteries being owned by customers. The offer, called “battery as a service” (BaaS), allows electric car owners to pay a monthly charge for the use of batteries.
In Norway, 92% of ES8 customers opted for the BaaS program.
Some companies, such as Tesla, refuse to use removable battery packs. According to them, the integration of these components in the body allows them to offer cars with greater autonomy and lower weight.