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NIO opens their first Swapping Station outside of China

Oppdatert: 20. jan. 2022

NIO did open their first Power Swap Station (PSS) outside of China at Lier close to Drammen in Norway today. Nio says that the station will make it possible to replace the battery in NIO's cars with a charged one in five minutes and is, therefore, an alternative to spending time charging the car. PSS is also part of NIO's investment in Battery as to Service (BaaS) and an essential part of NIO's goal of separating electric cars and batteries. You by the car you want, and then rent or by the battery suiting you best at the moment.

The station will replace the battery in all NIO's models. The first NIO model to find its way to Norway is the big SUV ES8, launched here in the autumn of 2021.

The mayor of Lier, Gunn Cecilie Ringdal, did du opening

NIO says that Power Swap Stations are one of the most significant developments in the field of electric cars in the last years. Not only because they make the electric car more practical but also because they remove the worries associated with owning an expensive battery pack.

This is the first time this type of technology has been launched in Norway, and NIO looks forward to letting users take advantage of it. In Europe we hade Better Place offering battery swapping some ten years ago, but with no success, and the company did go bankrupt in 2013. It looks NIOs timing is much better.

The benefit NIO is pointing out is reduced time filling up the battery when needed on longer trips and for people not able to charge at home. Still, I think the combination of battery swapping and Battery as a Service is the most significant benefit of technology here in Norway. For everyday use, you can manage with a small battery in the car, and then it is possible the swap to a larger battery when going for longer journeys or in periods of more intense use of the car.

In contrast to many cities in NIOs home market, China were many use battery swap as their primary way to get a fully charged battery, most people here in Norway can charge their car at home overnight.

An other benefit of battery swapping is to reduce the "battery anxiety" many experiences when going electric. Batteries are an expensive part of the car, 15-20 % of total cost, NIO says, and the development is going fast. By renting the battery, it is possible to reduce the risk and easily upgrade to a more modern battery as they develop.

NIO tells us that they do not want to lock their customers to the available battery when they bought the car. Many of the cars they sell today will be on the road in 15 years. Thanks to Battery Swap, they will always have the latest battery technology.

Today, NIO only offers a 100 kW battery, but they will also launch a 75 kW battery later this year. In addition, NIO is also developing a 150 kW solid-state battery that will be offered to the market. All batteries fitting in all NIO models make this a very flexible solution and take electric mobility to the next level.

- The opening of the Power Swap Station at Lier only marks the start of development in Norway, says Espen Byrjall, Power & Ops Manager at NIO Norway.

- By the end of 2022, we plan to have twenty stations located across large parts of Norway,

Illustration from NIO for the showing the first twenty BSS in Norway

Here is my video, taken with an handheld iPhone from the first official swap.

Below is a video from NIO showing how the BSS works.

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