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Chinese electric car maker Nio plans to build 4,000 battery-swapping stations worldwide by 2025, Reuters has reported, citing the company’s president Qin Lihong.
Battery swapping is emerging as a quicker alternative to EV charging, which often still takes hours, making EVs less appealing to potential buyers. Yet swapping a battery could take about as little as it takes to fill a tank of gasoline, which may make this approach to charging even more popular in the future.
Nio plans to start small, with 700 battery-swapping stations this year, before adding another three thousand and change over the next five years.
Nio, which debuted in 2014, has enjoyed strong growth for its business, this year entering the luxury sedan segment to compete directly with Tesla. The company’s share price has reflected this, soaring from about $15 in July last year to as much as $61.95 in January of this year. Since then, the stock has declined a bit but is still going strong, just like other EV maker stocks.
Even so, Nio’s stock—and all EV stocks—remain vulnerable to sudden changes like the sharp dip from earlier this week as traders sold out of EVs on fears the industry was getting overheated.
That Nio is betting not only on EVs but also on charging and battery-swapping stations for its international expansion is a smart move that should take away some of the vulnerability specific to the EV making industry.
Europe is Nio’s first overseas target for the battery-swap stations as well as its superchargers and home charging ports. The company said earlier this week that its products have been certified for use across the EU. However, media reports said that its first exports of superchargers, home charging ports, and battery-swapping stations would go to Norway, with four due to be built there by the end of the year.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com