Manila, Philippines – In addition to Tesla, there is another manufacturer of only electric cars on the US stock exchange Nasdaq: the Chinese company NIO, founded in 2014, which already has two chic E-SUVs on the home market and will still deliver a crossover similar to the Tesla Model Y in 2020 with the EC6 want. With a market cap of just under $ 6 billion, NIO is tiny compared to Tesla. Nevertheless, the company takes care of its own charging infrastructure as it did Tesla early on – but in its own way.

Faster than the Tesla Supercharger

Because NIO has been using fast charging stations instead of fast charging stations for electric cars like the Tesla superchargers since the end of 2017. Charged batteries are kept there for NIO owners who arrive with an empty battery. As shown in a video from Beijing published in late 2019, the whole procedure only takes about 5 minutes and is fully automated. That seems to be arriving: As NIO announced at the end of May , there were just 500,000 at its 131 exchange stations in China. Change.

A charging process on a supercharger is not possible during this time even with a Tesla Model 3 at a fast V3 station with up to 250 kilowatts . A good 20 minutes pass here, and the luxury electric cars Model S and Model X take even longer due to their larger batteries and lower charging power.

So the time advantage of swapping instead of loading is obvious. Tesla also built a battery-changing station in 2014, which can charge the battery for less than 5 minutes. A patent publication followed in 2016, but Tesla only pushed ahead with the supercharger expansion , and nothing has been heard from exchanges since then.

Batteries can also be rented from NIO

The plans for power swap were announced in December 2017, the first station opened in Shenzhen in May 2018, and the 131 units currently in progress are far from over; According to, Tesla currently operates 281 Supercharger stations in China . One of the points that bothered some with the exchange concept is the fact that you always get a different battery, possibly in worse condition than the previous or your own. NIO counteracts this by offering the batteries for rent, unlike Tesla.