EV Battery Swap Stations Now Open in Europe

The stations allow drivers to replace their depleted car batteries with fully charged ones.

April 13, 2023

COPENHAGEN, Denmark—Catering to European electric vehicle drivers in a hurry, the first battery swap stations are now open, EuroNews.com reports. Nio, a Chinese EV manufacturer, has a dozen power swap stations across Europe, including its most recent one in Denmark.

Rather than asking drivers to wait while their vehicle is hooked up to a charger to replenish depleted batteries, the swap stations exchange dead batteries with fully charged ones in about five minutes. The stations put the depleted batteries on a slow charge to get ready for the next customer. Currently, there are more than 1,100 power swap stations around the world, most of which are in China. Nio has plans to add more than 100 such stations in Europe in 2023.

“What we’re building now is what we call a travel product. We’re putting the stations up in between major cities … and then, next wave, we’ll put them closer to the major cities and traffic hubs, sort of to broaden their perspective a little,” said Michael Salomon, interim head of power at Nio Denmark.

However, the Nio power swap stations only work for those with a Nio car, according to the Danish Electric Vehicle Association. Experts would like to see a common standard for power swap stations to cater to any electric vehicle, much like the desire to have a common standard for charging stations. The European Union wants to have 30 million zero-emission EVs on the road by 2030, with a plan to prohibit sales of new gas- and diesel-powered cars starting in 2035.

Nio was founded in 2014 and delivered 122,486 vehicles in 2022, a 34% increase from 2021. Nio’s CEO, William Li, has said that it will enter the U.S. market with its next generation of vehicles.