Chinese automakers Geely and Nio yesterday signed a strategic partnership agreement centred on EV battery swapping.

Geely, China's leading privately-controlled automotive technology group, and EV startup Nio, the world's largest operator of battery swapping stations for EVs, will cooperate on five key areas.

Those will include battery standards, battery swapping tech, battery swapping network expansion and operation, development of future battery swappable models, and battery asset management, the companies said in a joint press release.

Geely and Nio said they will co-develop two battery swapping standards for private cars and commercial vehicles. Both parties will also "accelerate the development and promotion of battery swapping technology on the vehicle end, and expand the operational scale of battery swapping to provide more convenient, comprehensive and safe services for users with different needs."

In addition, Geely and Nio will set up an efficient battery asset management mechanism, build a unified battery swap operation, and develop battery swappable vehicles compatible with each other's systems. No details were offered regarding the future vehicles the two parties will co-develop.

As battery swapping is being embraced by more EV users in China, Geely's YiYi Power, which already operates its own battery swap stations for commercial vehicles in several Chinese cities, will leverage the partnership with Nio to expand its presence in the country.

The partnership between Geely and Nio is expected to help further standardise battery swapping tech in China and develop the country's battery swap network. Geely is the second automaker to sign a battery swapping agreement with Nio, following a similar partnership with state-owned Changan announced last week.

"NIO and Geely share a profound understanding of battery swapping and have been dedicated to the investment in the battery swapping technology and network for private cars and commercial vehicles with rich experience in swapping service and operations," said William LI, Founder, Chairman and CEO of NIO.

"This strategic partnership will further popularise battery swapping, bring quality and convenient battery swapping experience to more users and contribute to the steady development of the smart EV industry."

Geely and Nio said they will continue building their own and joint battery swap stations. Nio had 2,000 stations in China as of last month, while Geely currently has 300 stations in operation. In 2021 Geely said it targeted 5,000 battery swap stations for EVs globally by 2025.