While the idea of swappable EV batteries was both common and appealing a decade or more ago, it has since fallen out of fashion as EV range has steadily increased. Or, at least that’s been the case in the US. However, things are different in China, and to show just how different, the country has just approved the first official swappable EV battery standard and safety guidelines, which are set to go into effect on Nov. 1, CNEVPost reported Monday.
Why is China so interested in making EV battery swaps a thing? Well, according to a statement made by Xin Guobin, vice minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, there are a few reasons, but the biggest are, cheaper charging by charging during off-peak hours and customers being able to choose the size of battery they need on a given day.
Companies like NIO and BAIC have advanced the new battery swap standard, but it’s Geely that seems to be sprinting ahead, based on a recent YouTube video showing off its 1-minute automated battery swapping station.
Will China’s adoption of these new standards have a meaningful impact on the way the American EV market looks at swappable battery technology? Our guess is no, especially given the number of EVs on our roads already with nonswappable batteries and the cost of building out an infrastructure of stations to handle the swaps, but it’s still a cool idea.