NIO announced at the 2021 Auto Shanghai the Power North Plan related to charging/battery swapping services in China.
Within three years, the company intends to deploy:
- 100 Power Swap stations (battery swap stations)
compared to more than 170 as of January 2021
- 120 Power Mobiles (mobile charging vans)
- 500 Power Charger stations
with over 2,000 Power Chargers
- over 10,000 destination chargers
In eight provinces and autonomous regions (including Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, and Xinjiang).
"The Power North Plan will significantly better the power experience of electric vehicle users in northern China. With that, NIO will make a step closer to the vision of driving an electric vehicle wherever a gasoline car can go."
As a result, in the mentioned areas, the infrastructure density will increase substantially:
- one Power Swap station or Power Charger station every 100 kilometers along the expressways on average
- one reliable charging or swapping station every three square kilometers in the urban area of prefecture-level cities
On top of that, NIO intends to support tourist destinations:
- 95% of the tourist attractions rated AAAA or above will have charging or swapping facilities
The second-generation battery swap station, called Power Swap Station 2.0, is also displayed at the Auto Shanghai show alongside NIO EVs' (ES8, ES6, EC6, upcoming ET7, and halo prototype EP9):
Gallery: NIO Battery Swap Stations
The mix of battery swap stations with a conventional charging infrastructure (and mobile charging units) reveals that in NIO's opinion, there is no single solution that would address all needs.
However, the number of 500 charging stations, with more than 4 stalls on average, and over 10,000 destination chargers suggests that charging remains the main way of range replenishing outside the home.
NIO says that a single Power Swap Station 2.0, would be able to handle up to 312 battery swaps per day (24 hours). At 100 stations, it would be 31,200 battery swaps, at best.
If we assume that DC fast charging will take 30-60 minutes, over 2,000 DC fast chargers would then be able to recharge more than 48,000-96,000 cars per day (24 hours). On top of that are the destination chargers.
This simple calculation reveals that even NIO is preparing three times bigger capacity for DC fas charging than battery swapping.