There is little doubt that battery swapping will be a meaningful element of the EV landscape in the future. It remains to be seen what the mature balance between work/home charging vs. field swapping looks like in 15 or 20 years. There’s a likelihood that swapping batteries will be a part of the EV industry. The economics of a lower-cost vehicles entry cost when combined with modestly priced “battery use or rental fees” is compelling. Many people won’t have viable nighttime charging access at their homes, hence the swapping value proposition. Many industry investors believe this as well, as there are very large financial bets being placed into companies like NIO.
Though adoption will certainly be different across the major markets of China, Korea, Japan, US, & Europe, this has large ramifications to country-level infrastructure planning for getting heavy capacity electric power to swapping center locations. GLDPartners Mobility Solutions is working on statewide mobility projects in the US and we can attest that this dynamic is a fundamental issue now for long-term infrastructure, investment and development planning.
Battery swapping centers will replace legacy “gas station” providing a point source for exchanging battery packs, and likely a more robust model of other customer services. With EV servicing being far cleaner, the evolved model will embed these centers in modern retail, entertainment and food service.
See the related South China Morning Post article: NIO to expand battery infrastructure in China to compete with Tesla
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