The Ever Evolving and Flexible Swappable Charging Solution

30 november 2022 by NIO

NIO announced its launch of flexible battery upgrades, which allows our 70/75kWh battery to be upgraded to a 100kWh battery monthly. This further improves the “rechargeable, upgradeable and swappable” energy service system. NIO users can upgrade their batteries to a large-capacity and long-range battery pack (100kWh) annually or monthly to serve their mobility featuring different range needs.

The National Big Data Alliance of New Energy Vehicles (NDANEV) indicates that 95% of private cars primarily travel short distances with a daily mileage of fewer than 90km. However, on long-distance trips, limited by the capacity of ordinary batteries, the frequency of recharging will increase and intensify range anxiety. 

Pursuing large-capacity battery packs for electric vehicles leads to resource idleness. On the other hand, when users temporarily need a long-range battery pack, the lack of related services will affect their experience of vehicle use.

Through battery swapping technology, flexible upgrades have provided a more efficient allocation of battery resources through innovative operation solutions of the industry, which can bring about an economical and convenient long-distance travel experience and, at the same time, improve overall resource utilization efficiency. According to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of vehicles, this service of flexible upgrades can reduce carbon emissions by 10.7% throughout the life cycle of vehicles.

Improving the layout of NIO's power swap network roadmap is the key to reducing user execution costs, such as round-trip time and energy consumption by vehicle. Considering the distribution of users in a region, the convenience of battery charging and swapping resources, and the coverage of key routes, engineers have improved the layout of power swap stations to make battery upgrades more convenient and efficient. 

With the battery serving as an energy storage resource, the secondary transaction cost under the traditional model is much higher than the added value. Therefore, the core value of flexible battery upgrade service effectively reduces transaction costs, including convenience, timeliness, and safety.

Through a long-term study on battery fault and hidden danger warning, the engineering team has collected more than 100,000 tags concerning abnormal battery data and achieved, in combination with breakthroughs in three key technologies, namely subspace division, block feature extraction, and self-learning classification, a leading global level of 95% both in fault pre-identification rate and accuracy rate.

The battery bump on the bottom of a vehicle is also a common industry problem that is hard to detect and urgently needs to be addressed. NIO is making full use of the abundant sensor resources of the power swap station, including temperature, humidity, smoke, flooding, and vision sensors, among which the image recognition technology can likewise be used like AI face recognition to improve recognition accuracy through sample learning and to scan and intercept damaged battery packs, thus preventing batteries’ hidden problems from being taken out of the station through the swap.