EV battery swapping is one of the technologies that has many skeptics. However, NIO seems to have perfected the feature and is doubling down on it. The Chinese company has announced plans this week to add 1,000 battery swap stations in 2023.
The latter half of the year will be more intense as it will maintain a construction rate of 120 to 150 stations per week.
NIO previously announced it would add 400 during the year but decided to become more aggressive about the rollout. The company’s president and founder, William Li, said the former target was inadequate. The adjustment came after Li interacted with NIO owners, and the number one request was for more swapping stations.
Forty percent of the new swapping stations will be along highways, while the remainder will be in urban areas. However, NIO will also consider smaller cities with many NIO owners.
NIO operated 1,313 swapping stations in China as of January 22.
Li said his team is already working out the details of the aggressive push. The company unveiled its 3rd-generation battery swapping station last December with upgraded features such as storing up to 21 battery packs, up from 13 in the 2nd generation. The latest version means a station can handle 408 swaps daily, 30% more than its predecessor.
NIO deployed its first battery swap station in Germany last September. It opened its 1,000th station in July.