Source: Garage 42
Not long ago, on March 28, NIO announced that the third-generation power swap station was officially launched, and the first NIO third-generation power swap station next to the Shangri-La Hotel in Haikou City, Hainan Province was officially put into operation.
Utilizing this timing of the third-generation swap station launch, Garage 42 had a conversation with Shen Fei, Senior Vice President of NIO Energy, and Yang Chao, Head of NIO Energy Product Development.
Below is the specifics related to the third-generation swap station.
For NIO, which focuses on systematization, the power station swap is an important part of NIO Power, and it is also closely related to NIO’s product planning.
Let’s start with the three aspects of “experience”, “compatibility” and “perception”. First, let’s briefly talk about which aspects of the three generation swap stations have improved, and what is the logic behind these improvements?
— In terms of experience, “more comfortable” and “faster” are two key words.
NIO car owners should be familiar with the “small steep slope” when entering and exiting the power station. The third-generation station lowered the height of the power swap platform by 100mm. On the one hand, the bumpy feeling when the vehicle enters and exits is smaller; On the other hand, it will be more friendly to the ET series with a lower chassis and models without air suspension. Furthermore, the battery replacement position of the third-generation station has been moved forward by 400mm, and the view inside the car is wider when the battery is replaced. This is the user experience improvement made by the third generation station on “more comfortable”.
And “faster” means that the power swap speed of the third-generation station has been improved. A new work space has been added to the right side of NIO’s third-generation station. Compared with the previous process, after the battery is disassembled, it will be put into this space first. The new battery on the left moves directly into the middle for installation, shortening the wait time for a battery shift left. At the same time, the third-generation station will synchronize the battery swap action and part of the self-inspection process, which further shorten the waiting time for self-inspection.
In terms of results, the battery swap time for the third-generation station is shortened from 5 minutes and 40 seconds to 4 minutes and 40 seconds.
In addition, with the same floor area as the second-generation station, the number of battery compartments has increased from 13 to 21, and the battery charging power has increased by 50%. The third-generation station has also begun to support 800 V electrical architecture. The increase in the charging speed of the battery at the station will also effectively shorten the waiting time for battery replacement.
— The “compatibility” of the third-generation station has laid the groundwork for NIO’s multi-brand strategy.
At the scene of the previous exchange meeting, Shen Fei clearly said “New brands can 100% share NIO’s battery swap system,” This actually almost shows that the new brand code-named “Alps” can do battery swap.
According to the current plan, NIO hopes to deploy 1,000 three-generation stations in 2023. Even if only third-generation stations are compatible with Alps models. This fledgling new brand will also have energy supplement resources that are difficult for others to have.
At the same time, the three-generation power station has achieved a high degree of flexibility in the structure of the power replacement, The wheelbase of compatible models has also changed from the second-generation 2800-3,100 mm to 2800-3300 mm, and the maximum supported length of the wheel outer distance has also increased from 2500 mm to 2800 mm. At this stage, the wheelbase of ET7 has reached 3060mm.
And we start to guess, it was previously reported that the first product of the NT 3.0 platform, NIO ET9, will become the ultra-luxury flagship of the family. The third-generation power station that supports a longer wheelbase also seems to confirm this conjecture from another angle.
— In terms of “perception”, the main purpose of equipping Orin and lidar on the third-generation power station is that NIO hopes to increase the number of unattended stations through the improvement of station-side perception capabilities, which will also reduce the operating cost of power station replacement.
It can be seen that the upgrade of the third-generation station is more about “planning for the future”.
Whether it is greater compatibility or stronger station-side perception capabilities, NIO still insists on giving the NIO brand and sub-brands the unique advantage of being “rechargeable and replaceable”. It is also thinking about how to unify the battery replacement experience for models of different platforms and brands.