Automotive

Published on May 11th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin

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8 Advantages Of Geely’s Battery Swapping Tech

For one, the battery changing process only takes ONE minute

The rising sales of electric vehicles over the last few years has resulted in the expansion of charging network, enabling users to extend their driving ranges and alleviate their range anxiety over time. That being said, long charging time has been a major drawback for these existing charging stations. For instance, Italy’s Enel X ultrafast charging stations take 15 minutes to fully recharge an EV, about three times as long for a refuel.

In its effort to iron out this particular kink, Geely Technology Group is turning to battery-as-service business model, which offers swapping of batteries for EV owners at over 1,000 stations located throughout China. For the time being, the battery swapping tech is only available for certain cars using its CaoCao ride-hailing service but it has great potential for the future based on the following reasons:

1. Speed

Changing times are rapid – these stations complete the battery changing process in one minute – perfect for those in a rush, especially when compared to a fast charge that currently takes up to 30 minutes for a near 80% charge. For drivers of Geely’s CaoCao ride-hailing service, who are currently using the service, this could mean two or three extra fares.

2. Drive-through

Unlike other battery swapping stations, Geely’s stations are front entry, rear exit, meaning driving directly in (and out) is easy. Because it’s so easy, Geely allows drivers to take their vehicles in themselves – no time is wasted switching back and forth between station operators.

3. Convenient Payment

As with most business and services in China, payment has been highly streamlined. The driver does not even need to pull their phone out – car plates are identified on entry and the respective fees are automatically charged to the driver’s account. Simple.

4. Affordable

Although this service is currently only available to certain cars using the CaoCao taxi app, it is already very popular thanks in large part to its affordability – the average swap will cost around 55 yuan (around 7 euros), to full replenish a car’s full range (around 400km under NEDC range).

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5. Smarter Battery Management

The primary use of these stations will be (as you may have guessed) swapping empty batteries in cars with full charged batteries. In addition, the stations will also manage the batteries, charging, switching, and removing where appropriate, all the while updating this information to the cloud where it can be used to improve future offerings.

6. Intelligent App

No service is complete without its apps. In this instance, the app informs users of not only their distance to nearby stations and how to get there but also the real-time figures for the number of batteries available and estimated waiting times – the closest station might not necessarily be the best option.

7. Extensive Safety Features

Geely’s stations place safety as a top priority, using a range of safety functions to keep drivers safe during battery swapping including:

  • Early warning systems that identify battery malfunction and dump batteries in nearby sandboxes in under 10 seconds
  • Smoke and fire detectors located throughout the station activate extinguishers when needed
  • Fireproof materials used whenever possible throughout the stations
  • 24-hour remote video monitoring

8. Clean, odour-free stations

Unlike the experience of filling up at a gas station, swapping at one of these stations can actually be quite pleasant. There is minimal noise, smell, and a distinct lack of oil stains – do you still want to go to gas stations?

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