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Video Shows Battery Swapping Goes Beyond Saving Time: It's About Safety and Convenience

Most car companies and battery manufacturers want to come up with technology that allows really fast charging. Some don’t think that is the solution for electric cars and want to develop battery pack swapping. A good example is Geely, which used its newsletter to promote a video about the technology made by China UNCUT.
Cristina Chen states that battery swapping helps her feel saferGeely's CaoCao battery-swapping station replace the depleted battery pack of a Maple 60SBattery-swapping payment is done with a simple QR codeMaple 60S is the Geely EV with battery-swapping technologyMs. Chen thinks battery swapping is more convenient than dealing with heavy fast charging cablesMs. Yang works with a Maple 60SSmartphone app shows where the battery-swapping stations areNIO Power StationNIO Power Station
Although some could say that Geely only did that because the video also talked about CaoCao – Geely’s taxi cab company – it also spoke about the most successful experience in battery swapping to date. The fact that it comes from a competitor should have prevented the automotive giant from praising it. However, at this point, the best way to get it going is to show why it can be a good idea.

China UNCUT did that by interviewing three women that use battery swapping systems. Two of them, Cristina Chen and Ms. Chen (they do not seem to be related), are NIO customers. Ms. Yang is a CaoCao taxi driver.

For Ms. Yang, the best aspect of CaoCao swapping stations is that they save her a lot of time. She does not have to wait for the car to charge when she calls it a day and only loses a few minutes when her Maple 60S needs more juice. For her, the EV is a professional tool. If time is money, she can’t afford to waste any.

Both talk about how regular car owners deal with battery swapping. Sadly, China UNCUT probably did not ask them if they could charge their EVs at home. Our impression is that they cannot do that: Ms. Chen swaps the battery pack in her EV once a week because she does not drive that much. Cristina Chen does that six to eight times a month – equivalent to twice a week. Interestingly, she brings up something we have only considered after watching a video from Electroheads.

Eilis Barrett brought up a concern British women seem to have with driving their EVs on their own: charging in remote places. When the car needs electricity in emergencies, you cannot choose where to get it: you have to go to the closest location. When the chargers are down, that means you have to keep on searching, which raises range anxiety even more.

What Barrett stressed is that the UK is facing an epidemic of femicide and serious violence against women. Being alone in a charging station late at night looks like the perfect plot for a horror movie. Cristina Chen said NIO owners do not face that: they can program the operation of battery swapping from their smartphones, remain in their cars, and even lock it without affecting the process in any way.

Ms. Chen reinforces that battery swapping is also more convenient than dealing with the heavy fast charging cables she had to cope with on highways. This is the reason why some stations now drop the wires from the ceiling. This arrangement spares customers from having to deal with the cables’ weight.

Apparently, the battery-swapping stations are also more reliable: none of these customers complained of having reached them and leaving without a fully charged battery pack. The fact that they are accessed via a smartphone app must prevent them from going somewhere with problems or just too crowded, for example.

We had never considered that spending less time anywhere with an electric vehicle is not only a matter of convenience but also a safety concern. Thanks to Electroheads and Cristina Chen, we now have another perspective of something that can prevent EV adoption and another argument in favor of battery swapping. Perhaps more companies should start considering it other than NIO, Geely, GAC Aion, and CATL.

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