While waiting 20 minutes for an additional 300 km of range sounds great for the general public, the charging time is still a little too much for the mobility fleets like taxis, where the time spent waiting could have been easily used to earn more money.
So in addition to strengthening the numbers for its fast charging stations, Geely has now also committed to building 5,000 battery swapping stations across China by 2025.
Geely’s battery swapping technology, called E-Energee, was first shown off in Chongqing back in September last year, and over the past 12 months, the battery-swapping system has already been deployed in over ten provinces across China.
With the E-Energee battery swapping technology, the taxi drivers will be able to swap their batteries for a fully charged one within 59 seconds – all while without the users exiting the vehicles itself.
The modular batteries are then charged centrally in the battery swapping stations in a safer manner, which means in addition to reducing wait times for the drivers, the system can also help prevent spontaneous combustion due to high battery temperatures from high-speed charging, and extend the usable life of any given battery pack up to 8 years or 600,000 kilometres.
Geely begun researching battery swapping technologies in 2017, and over the years, the R&D team has now grown to a headcount of over 1,000 people, with hundreds of patents registered for their systems.
E-Energee’s platform is designed with a wide compatibility in mind. The current system will be able to swap batteries for specially-designed models with wheelbases between 2,700 to 3,100 mm – including the Maple 80V, the first model in Geely Group’s line-up to support battery swapping.
Earlier this year, Chinese EV carmaker Nio has also announced their plans for 4,000 battery swapping stations globally by 2025 – 700 of which is due by the end of 2021 in China.
It remains to be seen if these “Battery-as-a-Service” (Baas) business model will help boost wider adoption of EVs, particularly for the mobility service providers. Although, we have to admit that going from 0% to 100% in just 60 seconds does sound almost magical.