Battery swapping has become a hot topic as the market for EVs has grown. Range anxiety, long charging time, and expensive lithium batteries remain the biggest roadblocks to greater adoption of EVs. Through battery swapping, these issues have seemingly been solved. To find out for sure, we’ve asked real users of battery swapping services how they feel about the experience.
Meeting with three battery swapping users, we asked them a few questions about their experience with the service. Ms. Yang drives a battery swapping Maple 60S for the green ride-hailing service CaoCao Mobility. Cristina is an owner of a battery swapping NIO model. Ms. Chen is another owner of a NIO battery swapping model.
How long have you been battery swapping and how often do you use the service?
I’ve been using battery swapping for six months, twice a day. The range of this car is 400 kilometers, and I change the battery once it gets low.
I’ve been using the battery swapping service for over 600 days since I’ve purchased the car. I usually swap batteries six to eight times a month.
I’ve only started swapping batteries after the second year of owning my car. This is my third year owning this car. I don’t drive often so I only swap once a week.
How does battery swapping compare to fast charging?
With fast charging, it takes about an hour to fully charge. Battery swapping is very fast, only a minute or two.
It’s safer and you can just stay in your car. For my work, I need to drive back and forth across the city and within 5 km there is always a battery swapping spot.
I think it’s more convenient than fast charging, I used to go to fast charging place and the cable is very heavy and difficult to plug in especially for us ladies.
How much does battery swapping cost?
Charging is about 0.7 RMB per kWh. Swapping costs slightly more, but it’s charged based on kilometers driven. It’s around 0.2RMB per kilometer now. I would still choose battery swapping since its faster and I can get more orders with the time saved.
As a first owner of this car, I can enjoy lifetime free battery swapping, so for me compared to fast charging, I prefer to swap.
For others it may be different, but in my case as one of the first owners, I can enjoy lifetime free battery swapping.
How concerned are you about swapping a “good” battery for a “bad” one?
As one of the first users of course I had this concern and I’ve also heard the same concerns from other users especially the ones in Shanghai. But as time goes by, the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.
At the beginning, we might have had this concern, but after the second year I saw many users sharing their battery swapping experience on the NIO platform. Because of this sharing nature, all the batteries in circulation are shared by everyone so there’s no such thing as good or bad. With this shared mentality, it’s not a concern anymore.
Would you go back to using a non-swapping model?
Probably not, because charging is very inconvenient. Before I would need to get up at 5 in the morning and charge for an hour, which is very tiring. With battery swapping, every night after work, I can change the battery and go home to rest.