We join an automatic battery exchange at a station!

While testing the Chinese electrical SUV Nio ES8, Maxime Fontanière wished to understand how the battery is exchanged at a station opened earlier within the yr by the producer in Norway.

Already within the Nineties in France

If battery swapping was placed on the stage ten years in the past by Better Place, finally with a resounding flop, the thought had lengthy been within the air in France.

Former president of Mobil’Eco, and engineer in control of the automobile fleet of the Bordeaux city group, Christian Lucas admitted to me at the time that he labored at electrostations to drive 20-tonne electrical vans 2 x 8 hours.

Within 5 minutes, the two lead packs, which had run low on energy and every weighed 2,250 kg, have been changed by the beforehand reloaded unit. To show all of the utility of this know-how, one in all these heavy items autos, with logistics weighing 16 tons, coated a distance of 951 km in lower than a day. It was September 30, 1997.

Along with 4 like-minded colleagues, he tailored this infrastructure, which turned transportable, with a small fleet of three Volta gentle utility autos. Without continuity.

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Better Place to Neo Power Swap Station

About fifteen years later, Renault joined forces with Better Place to create a community of battery exchange stations in Israel, with an growth deliberate to different nations. The French producer’s position was basically to ship a suitable electrical automobile.

Belonging to the ZE household that spawned the Zoé, Twizy and a few fashionable utility autos, the Fluence sedan has been tailored. below the identify ” Quick-Drop “, the system consisted of a robotic arm that retrieved the discharged pack and changed it with a battery stuffed with power. The automobile needed to be positioned in a fastened location on a sheltered platform. With the demonstrator launched in Japan in 2009, the operation took simply 2 minutes.

Broadly talking, the answer developed by Neo could be very related. However, with one main distinction: the Chinese automobiles of the model keep at the facility swap station and get out of it in the identical approach. As we will see within the video taken by Maxime Fontanier.

Big success in China

If the failure of the Better Place program then led many automotive professionals and French electromobilists and elsewhere to consider that battery swapping was a useless finish, in China, it’s fairly completely different. The authorities is encouraging the launch of branded electrical automobiles and vans

Taxi drivers within the nation favor a system that saves them a lot of time, in comparison with standard recharge. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is pursuing a pilot venture to increase battery exchange over a massive space by 2035.

Accepting the swapping of packs is now not as difficult as adjusting current methods. Nio participates in nationwide plans that present for the set up of over 1,000 new devoted stations. By the tip of final yr, over 150,000 autos of 200 completely different fashions had been inspected.

Up to 312 trades per day

In May 2018 Nio inaugurated in Shenzhen, China’s Nanchang district, its first absolutely automated station for battery exchange for the ES8, an electrical SUV examined by Maxim Fontania in Oslo. At the start of 2021, the producer introduced its Power Swap Station 2.0.

This is a copy of this new technology infrastructure that we found in Norway. It is the primary within the nation, and subsequently in Europe. It was formally launched final January close to Dramen, about forty kilometers from Oslo.

Of its 14 slots, 13 are full or recharged batteries, recovered from earlier exchanges. Fourteen platforms are used to obtain suitable electrical automobile packs. With 24/7 opening, in line with the Chinese producer, it is going to be attainable to switch 312 packs per day and per institution. This is a little lower than 5 minutes per operation.

At the tip of final June, Nio had 1,000 exchange stations in its community, together with 250 new ones beginning this yr, 2022. They have recorded over 10 million cumulative swaps thus far.

20 stations in Norway by the tip of 2022

Visited by our video journalist, this station close to Dramen, extra particularly positioned in Lear, presently has restricted hours: 7 am to 10 pm. In this case, sustaining the identical pace, it might probably accommodate 195 Neo Electric autos per day at opening.

After the start-up part, which requires the presence of a technician to provoke recharging and management operations, the location will likely be accessible 24/7. ” Within a month or two, this station ought to be absolutely autonomous Confirms Maxime Fontanier. At the start of the yr, the producer introduced the opening of about twenty of those stations in Norway by the tip of the yr.

The collected photographs of the person within the cap present that, first, the physique of the ES8 is raised. But all 4 wheels keep on the bottom because of the long-travel air suspension. About 2 minutes and 40 seconds after beginning the method, the ES8’s 100 kWh pack shuts down.

The electrical SUV returned to a low place and the 2 flaps on the exchange platform have been closed. Quickly again, the machine is raised once more and the hatch opens. A particular fastening system ensures the right fixing of interchangeable packs. The automobile is able to go once more after 4 minutes 23 seconds.

After a Tesla Model X

The couple owned a Tesla Model X for five years earlier than being lured away by the Chinese competitor Nio ES8 in October 2021, in line with Maxime Fontanier at the Lier station.” I really like this automobile! “, the motive force dropped off. ” More than 20,000 km on the clock already “, and ” no drawback “, he reported. Criticism of his new machine in comparison with his earlier American SUV? ” None!

With the proceeds from the sale of his Model X, he was capable of buy a new Nio ES8. However, with the model’s enthusiasm, he selected to hire batteries. This supply” Battery as a service Opting for a 100 kWh pack can scale back the invoice by round 17.5% or round 20,000 euros per Norwegian interviewer.

On the opposite hand, he pays round 200 euros in hire. This quantity consists of 6 battery exchanges and 600 kWh of charging per 30 days at the DC Nio Fast Terminal.

During his check, our skilled journalist noticed an common vary of about 430 km with a 100 kWh battery. A month-to-month credit score of 1,200 kWh (6 swaps + 6 recharges) will translate to over 5,000 km within the mixed cycle. That’s greater than sufficient for Thomas and his spouse, who plan to cowl a most of 40,000 km per yr with their ES8.

120 kW charging energy

The Norwegian electromobilist estimates the utmost charging energy of its Chinese SUV at 120 kW. But with a curve that holds increased values ​​longer than its predecessor, the Tesla Model X. Ultimately, even with a excessive inflow for American SUVs in a comparatively quick time period, nevertheless, “ Charging time is similar “, he speculated.

And you, pricey reader, what do you consider the battery exchange, which Nio guarantees to increase to different European nations within the close to future?

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