NIO pioneers battery-as-a-service to support EV demand

NIO pioneers battery-as-a-service to support EV demand

We meet Matt Galvin, Managing Director of NIO UK, to learn more about the Power Swap solution as we believe it could reshape the electrification landscape

Not only does the Shanghai-born EV maker NIO bring us electrified, autonomous vehicles that speak to technological aspects of the industry, but it is Power Swap – perhaps its greatest triumph so far – that will reshape the way cars are used. 

Speaking with Matt Galvin, Managing Director at NIO UK, we find out more about the solution, why it helps us rethink the way that power is used, and the unique outlook that NIO has for charging cars in the future. 

Tell us about your role at NIO

My role is to lead the UK business, establishing NIO in the UK and building the infrastructure to support our smart EV user enterprise. 

NIO is a global brand focused on user, enterprise, community, and service to provide experiences beyond expectations and a worry-free service. We're a truly global car brand. Our R&D stretches from California into Oxford, UK; our design in Germany; and our manufacturing from China. So it's a really exciting brand to be with.

Tell us about NIO’s solution to the charging dilemma

‘Power Swap’, or battery swapping, takes less than five minutes. You don't have to leave your car. It's fully-automated, incredibly easy to access, and, actually, at the moment, the Power Swap network is really growing quite rapidly. There are over 1,400 Power Swap stations now, globally, that have completed over over 22 million battery swaps since they started. So there's a swap happening every 1.6 seconds.

How does NIO’s approach meet all electrification targets? 

Battery swapping – and, actually, NIO’s battery-as-a-service – represents a systematic solution to the long existing challenges for EV penetration. When it comes to battery degradation, battery upgradeability, and even built-in obsolescence in some cases, battery swapping really does offer the solution to answer those questions. 

Within the Power Swap offer you are able to not only charge your battery and swap your battery, but you can also upgrade it. So it's a really flexible and innovative solution. 

To what extent is battery swapping driven by the need for autonomy?

Although the level of autonomy supports the physical action of battery swapping, the driver behind the business model is separate and independent. When it comes to battery swapping, it was designed purely and simply as a way to make EVs more accessible and EV ownership more realistic for a lot of people. But, equally, this really drives that sustainability message home and provides an opportunity for us as a manufacturer of electric cars to be more efficient in the resources we use to create our batteries.

What other benefits are there for customers when using Power Swap? 

By offering an upgradeable solution, the very few times in the year when you need to travel 250, 300, 400 miles in a day – on vacation perhaps – you can upgrade your battery to a 100 kilowatt or 150kW battery for just those couple of weeks, then return and swap back to your 75kW battery that you will use 90% of the time.

How is NIO ensuring it uses clean energy? 

In each of the markets we are currently in, including Europe and China, the source of the energy is equally as important as building and the service itself. We have partnerships across Europe with many clean park initiatives, for example, and sustainable power source initiatives to make sure the power that comes from the grid and into our batteries is sourced as sustainably as possible. 

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