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NIO's New Battery Swap Station 4.0 Is Faster, Bigger And Automatic

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The first batch of NIO’s fourth-generation battery swap stations went live this month in China, paving the way for the support of multiple brands and models.

According to the Chinese manufacturer, the Power Swap Station 4.0 is fully automatic. Thanks to six ultrawide-FOV LiDARs and four Orin X chips, which have a total computing power of 1,016TOPS, the battery swap process can be started with just one tap on the car’s center display or even without being in the car.

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The latest battery swap station is also significantly more capable than the previous generations. It’s larger and can accommodate 23 battery packs. The battery swap process is also quicker and takes just 144 seconds. NIO says that a single station can provide up to 480 swaps per day.

The battery swap is more convenient and likely faster than refueling because the driver does not have to get out of the car.

NIO Power Swap Station 4.0

NIO Power Swap Station 4.0

NIO Power Swap Station 4.0

NIO Power Swap Station 4.0

The stations are compatible with the whole line of NIO’s battery packs. Currently, the company offers a 75-kilowatt-hour battery (the LFP version replaced the dual-chemistry LFP/NCM version), a 100-kWh NCM battery and a 150-kWh battery (Beijing WeLion New Energy Technology semi-solid state cells).

The 150-kWh packs are available for rent starting June 1, 2024 (the 100-kWh packs can be rented or purchased). The price differs depending on the car’s original battery. For 70/75-kWh battery pack users, a switch to a 150-kWh unit costs 150 CNY ($21) per day within the first seven days, according to CnEVPost. In the case of the 100-kWh battery EVs, the switch costs 100 CNY ($14) per day within the first seven days. After that, the cost increases by 50 CNY ($7) per day. That’s on top of the cost of using the battery swap service.

The 4.0 can be used by NIO cars, NIO’s new Onvo brand, and other strategic partner battery swaps. Let’s recall that NIO has a battery swap partnership signed with Changan Automobile and Geely Holding.

NIO Power Swap Station 4.0:

  • Battery swap time: 144 seconds
    [3.0 needs 150 seconds, 2.0 needs 277 seconds]
  • battery packs: 23
    [3.0 has 21 batteries, 2.0 has 13 batteries, 1.0 has 5 batteries]
  • daily output: up to 480 battery swaps per day (one per 10 minutes on average)
    [3.0 up to 408 swaps, 2.0 up to 312 swaps]
  • automatic operation
  • standard features: six ultrawide-FOV LiDARs and four Orin X chips, realizing a total computing power of 1,016TOPS
  • introduced: December 2023
  • first installed: June 2024

As of June 13, 2024, NIO’s battery swap network consisted of 2,432 stations in China. The company’s charging points number over 22,600.

According to NIO founder, chairman, and CEO William Li (via CnEVPost), the 4.0 battery swap stations can break even if they provide 60 swaps per day. That would be just 12.5% of the station’s potential 480 swaps per day.

DC Fast Charging Vs. Battery Swapping

NIO does not resign from DC fast charging. With the launch of the 4.0 battery swap stations, the company also released the new 640-kilowatt liquid-cooled Power Charger 4.0, which has a maximum current of 765 amps and a maximum voltage of 1,000 volts. The new charging cable developed by NIO is as light as 5.3 pounds.

The power increase from the previous 500 kilowatts and up to 660 A was considered necessary to recharge the high-capacity packs from 10 to 80% state-of-charge in about 12 minutes.

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