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Shell to construct and operate battery swapping stations with Nio in China and Europe

China-based EV maker NIO has entered into a strategic partnership with Shell to further its involvement in electric vehicle and energy industries globally. As part of this new strategic cooperation agreement, NIO and Shell will construct and operate battery charging and swapping facilities. This includes a plan to install 100 battery swapping stations in China by 2025 and construct and operate pilot stations in Europe from 2022.

Shell’s charging network in Europe will also become available to NIO users.

In the meantime, NIO and Shell will continue to explore further collaboration opportunities in battery asset management, fleet management, membership systems, home charging services, advanced battery charging and swapping technology development, and the construction of charging facilities in China.

As the world’s largest gasoline retailer, Shell is committed to becoming one of the leading charging service providers worldwide. NIO is a global smart electric vehicle company that began delivering cars to consumers in China in 2018. In 2021, NIO expanded its operations to Norway, marking its first step overseas. In the future NIO will enter additional European markets with its products and services.

Based on the strategic development of both brands, NIO and Shell will join forces to leverage each other’s strengths and contribute to the development of the smart electric vehicle industry.

Decarbonization is a global challenge that requires broad-reaching, multi-faceted global solutions. This is the most exciting aspect of our new partnership with NIO—the breadth of the collaboration and the value we can offer our EV customers both in Europe and in China. Together, we'll be working to improve every element of the EV experience. This means we’ll offer Shell Recharge high-speed charging at NIO locations and make battery swapping available at convenient Shell locations. We will also be offering NIO customers our best home and business charging solutions.

—István Kapitány, global executive vice president of Shell Mobility



I have to shake my head in eye-rolling bemusement every time yet another EV enterprise resolves to resurrect mechanical Heath-Robinson-like battery-swapping. I say this as someone who accurately and effortlessly predicted from the get-go that Shai Agassi's (largely Israel-based) Project Better Place would fail miserably and expensively for a host of still obvious, still applicable reasons. In fact even more applicable now with the advent of 5 minute charging(eg. ABB). The need is now vanishingly niche - ever more vanishingly miniscule with every new battery/energy storage breakthrough - both in terms of energy-density and superfast charge capability.
And consumers just don't want to blindly swap their EV's batteries - which have perhaps clocked up just a few thousand miles - for someone else's pack which may well have notched up 60,000++ miles !
That said - Formula E would have benefited greatly from the outset if its race cars had incorporated rapid 2-3 minute battery-swapping - enabling not just far longer races(and on real race-tracks) but allowing much higher speeds - minus the constant fear of running out energy.
Paul G

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