Battery swapping: from two-wheelers to trucks
The conductive fast charging system as we know it today has drawbacks such as long standby times, high power demand from the grid, availability and reliability issues, and the need for end users to handle heavy cables, dirty connectors and buggy users. interfaces. Battery swapping is an emerging technology that aims to fill all of these gaps. In addition to easily upgrading battery technology, reducing the purchase price of electric vehicles (by decoupling the cost of the battery from the electric vehicle), and massively reducing charging times, it is also important to note that battery exchange stations themselves can become independent energy storage facilities with grid balancing capability. As we electrify different vehicle segments, can battery swapping be considered a viable charging strategy for all?
Battery swapping is considered an ideal solution for the growing electric two- and three-wheeler segment due to the self-service business model that requires low capital investment. Redemption stations in this segment resemble a vending machine, occupy a small footprint, and require no robotic machinery compared to that needed for cars or trucks. The high use of commercial fleets in this segment means that trading can directly increase revenue. There’s no downtime, no waiting, no energy spikes, and no need to swipe a card or enter a PIN. It only takes a few seconds to redeem and leave. This makes the two- and three-wheeler segment a promising candidate for adopting interchange technologies. The new report “Battery Swapping for Electric Vehicles 2022-2032: Technology, Players and Forecasts” from IDTechEx covers the various players in this field and compares their interchangeable battery modules by weight and power.
Fleet vehicles with high daily mileage are more suitable for battery swapping as they are more susceptible to downtime costs. Swap stations provide a much faster turnaround time for low state of charge EVs. Fleet vehicles are also usually a single model. This eliminates the difficulty of unifying different battery connection/locking mechanisms between different EV manufacturers and promotes the use of shared exchange stations, as demonstrated by the partnership between BAIC BJEV and Aulton in China. It also solves the problem of limited range, improves work efficiency and increases revenue for fleet operators. In addition, it has the potential to reduce the initial cost of the EV. Since batteries can effectively be rented, the EV can be purchased without its most expensive component. On average, research from IDTechEx suggests that battery cost decoupling can reduce the purchase price of EVs by 20%. IDTechEx’s report on the exchange examines the battery as a service business model and explains why fleets will benefit from using an exchange architecture.
The commercial heavy-duty segment includes buses, trucks and construction machinery. Almost all major Chinese heavy truck manufacturers have now launched a battery swap model for their battery electric trucks, including FAW, CAMC, Dongfeng, JMC, Shanxi Automobile and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). IDTechEx predicts that sales of new-energy/electric swap-capable heavy-duty trucks (EHT) will account for more than 30% market share of total pure electric heavy-duty truck sales in China by the end of 2022. The IDTechEx report includes major Chinese battery swap players. supply chain and technical parameters of different models of battery swap trucks.
The Korean government has proposed the use of “quick charger machines” (QCM) – a machine installed at a bus station that turns an eligible bus station into a battery swapping station. This involves the use of cranes mounted on top of the station that interchange with buses that use top-mounted batteries while they wait for passengers. Side-by-side battery swapping in buses is also successfully done in China. Swapping is done on either side using robotic arms on swap tracks that can screw or unscrew the batteries from the bus. Sun Mobility in India has also launched its “Quick Interchange Station” which facilitates the exchange, charging and maintenance of batteries for electric buses. IDTechEx considers heavy trucks and buses as well as electronic construction machinery to be particularly suitable for battery exchange technology, as their fixed mode of operation requires modest downtime, which justifies the cost of installation. battery exchange stations.
The swap tech currently appears to be a winner in the two- and three-wheeler markets of the Asia-Pacific regions. Personal cars and taxi fleets in China are now also embracing the technology with ambitious goals set by companies to roll out their own networks of swap stations. The heavy-duty segment is also conducting swap trials, which are widely supported by local governments. What remains a burning question is whether we will see this technology coming to Europe or the United States. Although it is unlikely to thrive in the US, many Chinese OEMs are now entering the European market. It is very likely that they will introduce the exchange there as an alternative recharge strategy. However, the deployment of exchange stations will remain very low unless major support or interest is shown by consumers, OEMs and government agencies. IDTechEx’s “Battery Swapping for Electric Vehicles 2022-2032: Technology, Players and Forecasts” report includes a comprehensive overview of the exchange across all segments with supporting case studies and provides a balanced perspective on the likelihood of adoption.
This report is part of IDTechEx’s broader electric vehicle and energy storage research, which tracks electric vehicle adoption, battery trends and demand in more than 100 different mobility sectors. This is summarized in one main report: www.IDTechEx.com/EV, or for further analysis, please see the full EV research portfolio available from IDTechEx: www.IDTechEx.com/research/EV.
IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its research, subscription and advisory products, helping you take advantage of emerging technologies. For more information, contact research@IDTechEx.com or visit www.IDTechEx.com.