Besides a few image, we can also see a short video that appears to have originated from the Chinese social media platform, Weibo.
"NIO is ready! First Battery Swap Station in Europe. Just a few weeks. Game Changer for charging infrastructure. Norway first! Germany soon. Fully recharged within minutes. Here we are!"
According to one of the unofficial reports, the vast majority (92%) of the Norwegian NIO customers opt for the battery offered as a service - the Battery as a Service (BaaS) sales model - which means that they are purchasing the car without battery and they pay a monthly subscription to use the battery and access to the battery swap network.
"NIO 's first battery swap station in Norway is currently being tested. Li Bin revealed that the proportion of Norwegian BaaS users is 92%."
By the end of 2022, the company intends to gradually expand the network to 20 Power Swap stations in Norway - "covering Norway's five largest cities and their main roads."
Initially, NIO introduced only the ES8 SUV model in Norway. The next one might be the upcoming NIO ET7, which was already promised to enter the German market by the end of 2022.
In China, NIO installed more than 500 battery swap stations and completed 4 million battery swaps as of the Steptemer 2021. According to the Chinese media, the current number of the battery swap stations exceeds 600.
The Chinese company would like to expand the network to 4,000 stations by the end of 2025, including 1,000 stations outside China. Most of those 1,000 stations could be in Europe.
Only time will tell whether the battery swap station is a viable business model for EVs. It's a capital intensive approach, with its pros and cons as with any technical solution.
Without the necessary capacity, the network will not allow to replenish range as quickly as refueling a gas tank, which is demonstrated in an example video from China, where a few NIO cars wait for a battery swap:
The the second-generation Power Swap Station 2.0 introduced in April 2021 can handle up to 312 battery swaps per day (24 hours) - on average, 4.6 minutes or close to 277 seconds per swap (including parking).
The station has 14 battery slots - 13 battery packs and an empty slot, to pick up a discharged battery (or old/previous generation battery when upgrading).