The Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio is launching an assault on Europe. And to target Hungary not to produce vehicles there, but to set up an energy products factory there, more particularly to develop its battery exchange stations for which it is renowned.
If the Chinese manufacturers of electric cars have not yet really invested in the French market, it is through Northern Europe that they intend to impose themselves in the months and years to come. Thus, Scandinavia, a real Promised Land for the development of electric mobility, more particularly Norway, is already seeing the arrival of models signed BYD (with its Seal) or even Xpeng (with its P5) on its roads. To recite nobody else but them.
And on this side, Nio also intends to carve out a piece of the cake, not only betting on a complete range of zero-emission SUVs and sedans (ES7, ET5, ET7), but also on its battery exchange technology ( “battery swapping”). And if the Chinese manufacturer has already inaugurated its 1000th station on its territory at the beginning of summer 2022, only two have been opened on the Old Continent, one in January, another in August. Both in Norway, of course.
Closer to European customers
If Nio plans to open twenty in Europe by the end of 2022, to accelerate its expansion on the continent in the years to come, it will be able to count on a brand new factory that it will build in Hungary, as announced at the beginning of August. This very first infrastructure outside its country of origin will be located more precisely in Pest. But beware, there is no question of making cars here!
Indeed, this ” Nio Power Europe Plant » as it is officially called will have to produce the battery exchange stations, but also provide their after-sales service. It should begin its operations next September. In any case, this is the way Nio has found to be as close as possible to its European deployment and to reassure its customers on the Old Continent.
What is “battery swapping”?
While Nio is also developing ultra-fast terminals, the solution of rapid battery replacement is an alternative to the rapid charging of electric cars in which the brand believes. Enough to overshadow Tesla Superchargers! The principle is very simple: instead of charging your car at a terminal in a charging station, you drive your brand vehicle to one of the stations called Power Swap Station to leave your battery empty, and board a full, fully charged one.
This process has the advantages of only taking a few minutes and being fully automated, unlike conventional charging at a terminal.
You should also know, to get more into the operation of a battery exchange station, that there are a total of 14 battery slots: 13 of them contain full batteries, ready to be installed in a vehicle that has them. needs, and a slot remains empty to accommodate an empty battery.
And proof that it already works well in China, Nio celebrated at the beginning of July 2022 no less than 10 million “swaps”, specifying that every 2.8 seconds, a Nio comes out of a battery exchange station with full of electrons.
When will Nio and its exchange of batteries in France?
Nio has partnered with Shell for the development of its stations. The goal for the two players is to create a global network of 4,000 exchange stations, including 3,000 in China and 1,000 outside.
For the time being, Nio has not yet revealed any plans for an arrival in France soon. But it won’t be long, when we know that after Norway, the manufacturer of the Middle Kingdom intends to expand to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark during this second half of 2022.
In the meantime, Nio has taken a new step on August 22, 2022 by loading a boat of ET7 sedans from China, heading for Europe. It shouldn’t be long before we come across them on our roads, or at least with our neighbours!
To follow us, we invite you to download our Android and iOS application. You can read our articles, files, and watch our latest YouTube videos.