NIO's first battery swap station for electric cars in Germany has been officially deployed, ahead of the market launch of the NIO ET7 model later this year.
The station is located in Zusmarshausen, in the southern part of the country, on the A8 highway between Munich and Stuttgart.
We believe that this is the station that was shown earlier this month leaving the NIO Power Europe Plant in Hungary. Together with two stations installed in Norway (one in January and one in August), there are currently three in Europe.
By the end of 2025, NIO would like to install over 4,000 such stations, including 1,000 or so outside China.
For reference, in China, the company already installed more than 1,100 stations (for a total of over 238,000 cars delivered so far).
While battery swap stations are a special feature of NIO cars, let's note that the company has installed also over 1,000 fast charging stations with more than 5,360 individual stalls and over 870 destination charging stations (AC, normal charging speed) with roughly 5,470 individual stalls.
Currently, all NIO electric car models are compatible with the battery swap stations, because the company uses a standardised battery pack (externally) with two capacity levels (a third one is in the pipeline).
As the battery technology improves, the company probably will simply update the battery capacity through the use of new modules, maintaining the pack's compatibility.
It already happened in China in 2021, when a new standard-range, hybrid-cell battery pack (NCM/LFP) with a 75 kWh replaced the previous NCM pack, which had a capacity of 70 kWh.
The other type is 100 kWh (NCM 811 type), while a high-end 150 kWh version probably will arrive in the future.
The NIO's second-generation Power Swap Station 2.0, introduced in April 2021, is quite capable with the potential to be used once every several minutes. In theory, it should allow to quickly replenish range and continue long-distance travel.
The 2.0 system has a total of 14 battery slots - 13 battery packs (vs 5 in the 1.0 version) and an empty slot to pick up a discharged battery (or old/previous generation battery when upgrading). According to NIO, they are capable of completing up to 312 battery swaps per day (24 hours), which would mean 4.6 minutes or close to 277 seconds per swap (including the automated parking).