Nio Battery Swapping: costs and how it works

Nio’s Battery Swapping is what the Chinese brand is famous for worldwide, and it’s a key factor in its success, along with the design and overall quality of its products. This innovation addresses the issue of charging times, allowing for stops of just five minutes.

Since the manufacturer entered Europe in 2021 in Norway and expanded to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands in 2022, it has established 30 Power Swap Stations on the continent. These stations enable users to exchange batteries. Most of them are in Scandinavia (last opened in Malmö and Arlandastad, Sweden), reflecting the brand’s current focus in that region, but there are plans to open more throughout Europe.

Nio Battery Swapping: What is the cost?

The process itself doesn’t have an “external” cost separate from the vehicle, as is the case with electric charging or traditional fueling. Access to Nio’s Battery Swapping is not tied to purchasing the entire car; instead, the battery can be separated from the vehicle. This concept is referred to as “Battery As A Service,” where the battery becomes a service linked to the car, similar to Renault’s approach a decade ago.

One can buy the car and lease the battery, with different prices depending on the capacity. Alternatively, there’s the option to subscribe to the entire car through Nio Subscription, a “mobility subscription” that includes the car and all its services.

Nio ET5
Image: NordiskBil

For a Nio ET5 in Denmark, the battery costs 1299 DKK/month for a 75 kWh capacity and 2199 DKK/month for a 100 kWh capacity. The Nio Subscription for the same car is 8936 DKK/month.

For a Nio ET5 in Sweden, the battery costs 1799 SEK/month for a 75 kWh capacity and 2999 SEK/month for a 100 kWh capacity. The Nio Subscription for the same car is between 10.899 and 13.410 SEK/month.

For a Nio ET5 in Norway, the battery costs 1399 NOK/month for a 75 kWh capacity and 1999 NOK/month for a 100 kWh capacity.

How does Nio’s Battery Swapping work?

Given the substantial size of the batteries, up to over 100 kWh depending on the model, it’s clear that the operation can’t be performed at home. Therefore, it requires a visit to Nio Power Swap stations, where battery exchanges take place.

These stations are relatively compact and fully automated. Reservations are made through the in-car touch display, which allows users to order a new battery. The system also provides informations on the maximum number of batteries that can be stored at a given station and sets the navigator directly to the Power Swap Station.

Once at the station, it will be open, and the system will indicate the “queue,” showing how many other drivers have booked the same station around the same time or just before.

Nio ET5
Image: NordiskBil

The car must be positioned outside the station with the front facing away from the entrance, as indicated by markings on the ground. Subsequently, using the touchscreen, you click on “Swap,” and the car will move autonomously inside the Power Swap, without the need for the driver’s intervention.

Nio’s voice assistant, Nomi, will guide you through all the steps. Once the check is completed, the station will begin removing the depleted battery and inserting a new one, usually charged above 90%. During this process, the car will shut down completely.

Exiting the Power Swap will require driver intervention, similar to the experience of leaving a car wash, and once outside, the station will close completely. The entire process is probably quicker to experience than to read about because it takes no more than 5 minutes.

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