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This article was published on May 7, 2021

Nio is bringing battery swap stations to Europe, but there’s no round of applause

Norway marks the start

Nio is bringing battery swap stations to Europe, but there’s no round of applause
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
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Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio has announced its dive into the European market and it sounds like a big one… but will it stick the landing?

The company will bring four battery swap stations to the Oslo region by September, and then will expand to other Norwegian locations, starting in 2022.

While battery swap stations haven’t caught on in Europe, in China Nio has now hit the milestone of 2,000,000 battery swaps.

Truth be told, this charging alternative offers many advantages. You simply drive up to a designated station to you have your EV battery replaced with a new one – and it’s all done within 3 minutes. That’s a full charge, in less time than it takes to drink a coffee. 

Nevertheless, Nio’s announcement has raised some controversy on Twitter, where most of the comments characterize the move as “redundant.”

People seem skeptical of this new tech and there are some reasons why: the battery pack would need a very specific design, manufactures would need to produce compatible batteries for all brands, and it would require an entirely new charging infrastructure.

Perhaps that’s why previous attempts at battery swap stations have failed.

In any case, the carmaker will accompany its stations with the launch of its ES8 SUV in September and its ET7 sedan in 2022.

Will Nio succeed or will it fail? Norway might be the best place to try as it’s been very receptive of EV tech so far…


Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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