On January 18, 2022, CATL’s affiliate CAES held an online event that released its new brand EVO that provides a battery swap solution consisting of battery block, the fast battery swap station, and a supporting APP.
With the support of the latest CTP technology, the Choco-SEB can achieve a weight energy density of over 160Wh/kg and a volume energy density of over 325Wh/L, enabling a single block to provide a driving range of 200 km. Electric vehicle owners can choose one to three Choco-SEBs depending on their range requirements. More importantly, it takes roughly one minute to finish a single battery swap, which is really tempting to people who have to wait over an hour to just charge for five minutes.
The fast battery swap station features small floor space, rapid circulation, high capacity and all weather service. A standard station has three parking spaces and can house up to 48 Choco-SEBs. And the APP allows the connection among customers, vehicles, stations, and batteries. EVOGO aims to provide all-scenario power refilling solution, complemented by household charging and fast charging.
Is this efficient and considerate service new to the market?
Yes and no. The pioneer of battery swapping industry—Better Place first started to provide the service in Israel before filing for bankruptcy five years later. Its business model was deeply flawed because the battery pack was not compatible with most EVs. In the same year of Better Place’s failure, Tesla toyed with this idea and built a battery swapping station for experiment. But its high-profile founder Elon Musk quickly nipped this business model in the bud, citing a Supercharger station was a more practical choice for most people.
The story doesn’t end there. NIO also placed its bets on battery swapping. It built its first battery swapping station in 2018 and announced NIO would build 1,300 stations across China by the end of 2022. More players, including emerging EV makers and traditional car makers, all began to crowd into this field after China’s central government announced strong support for battery swapping, such as offering subsidies for car models with this service.
At the moment, only Bestune placed an order for EVOGO’s battery swapping service. However, the sales of its EVs are too low to support EVOGO’s business. The big EV makers, such as Tesla, BYD, and NIO, are unlikely to join, though the battery pack is compatible with over 80% of EVs in the market. As a result, the most pressing challenge facing EVOGO is to convince more influential carmakers to be more supportive.
For EV manufacturers without enough manpower to venture into the battery swapping industry, they have nothing to lose to provide some models to embrace the EVOGO service.