200 km in less than 5 minutes: this is how NIO’s electric car chargers are at 500 kW

During the celebration of second edition of the NIO Power Dayan annual event to show the novelties of the Chinese manufacturer of electric cars, the new ultra fast chargers capable of reaching powers of up to 500kW. NIO will deploy these chargers during this year both in China and Europeaccompanying its battery exchange network, which also has an important novelty: the presentation of the third generation of this technology that has been very well received in China.

Despite the problems in global supply chains that are causing so much difficulty to the automobile industry in China and beyond, NIO remains one of the manufacturers that claim electric cars that combine luxury, technology and ease of rechargingthanks to its technological innovations.

Following the launch of its new SUV, the ES7 in China last month, NIO’s catalog consists of six models, two sedans and four SUVs. To compete with its Chinese rivals that have also chosen to expand into foreign markets, as is the case with Xpeng, GAC or AionNIO has developed and is implementing its own battery recharging system.

It is currently the leader among the few manufacturers that offer a battery exchange system. A network that continues to expand both in terms of stations and technology. Inspired by Tesla’s Battery Day, NIO celebrates this year the second edition of its Power Day dedicated to showing the advances related to the recharging of energy for its electric cars. In it, the president of NIO, Qin Lihong, and his team spoke for more than an hour and a half about the novelties developed in the last year.


Recharging stations with 500 kW of power

The first and most important are the new fast charging stations capable of reaching powers of up to 500kWwhich will arrive to both China and Europe. The maximum current they can handle is 650 amps, resulting in one of the fastest recharge speeds in the industry, ahead of their competitors.

Until now, the most powerful charger officially presented was the one that GAC Aion showed in August 2021, capable of reaching 480 kW of power. Last week, XPeng Chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng announced that the company would gradually roll out its own charging network this year. 480kw/800V later this year compatible with the electrical system of its next electric SUV, the G9. As indicated

According to He, XPeng’s new superchargers can recover a range of 200 kilometers in five minutes and recharge an 800V battery from 10 to 80% in 12 minutes. In the case of NIO, at increase power by 20 kW these loading times should be reduced even more. NIO’s electric cars, for now, only support up to 90 kW of recharging power, so either the new stations will only have a real benefit for their next models or the current ones will need to be updated. The company plans to launch a new 150 kWh capacity solid electrolyte lithium battery pack, which could be the first to support this recharging power. As reported ReutersNIO has also recently announced that from 2024 it will start making its own 800-volt batteries, probably still with liquid electrolyte, but which should allow for much higher charging rates than those currently fitted to its electric cars.

According to NIO, 80% of charging sessions are performed by customers driving electric vehicles from other brands. Qin took advantage of this moment to call on other electric vehicle brands to do the same and open their networks to other drivers.

New battery exchange stations

NIO also presented its third generation battery exchange stationswhich are nearing the end of their development, and are already in the testing phase, before they begin installation in late 2022 or early 2023.

The first 200 NIO battery exchange stations correspond to the first generation of this technology. In these facilities it was possible to store up to five batteries. From 201 to 1,011 they are second generation stations that store up to 13 batteries and offer a maximum service capacity of 312 daily exchanges.

NIO ultrafast charging stations 500 kW-interior
Third generation NIO battery swapping stations will offer more battery storage capacity (previous generation supports 13) and more flexible design

Third generation stations will still offer more battery storage capacity and a more flexible design. To date, NIO’s battery exchange stations house a total of 8,961 batteries. This figure includes 3,821 long range battery packs and 5,140 standard range batteries.

In relation to the exchange program, NIO shared some details of its strategy for the coming years:

  • By 2025, in China, NIO will have a battery sharing network arranged in a square grid covering nine expressways vertically and another nine horizontally. In addition, it will also serve 19 urban areas.
  • That year, more than 90% of NIO customers will have at least one battery swap station within 3 kilometers of their home.
  • NIO plans to have more than 4,000 battery exchange stations worldwide by 2025, of which 1,000 will be located outside of China.
  • The automaker is testing the use of stored batteries to feed power back into the grid below battery-sharing stations.
  • It has already completed testing of V2G technology and will implement this technology in different scenarios in the future.
  • NIO has installed a total of 127,528 charging stations in the homes of its customers.

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