Battery swapping station – a new application of energy storage

Battery swapping station a new application of energy storage

In recent years, the sales volume of new energy vehicles has grown by leaps and bounds. On the one hand, it puts forward higher requirements for the construction of charging infrastructure, and on the other hand, it also creates room for the development of battery replacement models; and with the continuous development of new energy vehicle related technologies, and the battery swapping station should be recognized by more and more consumers.

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    What is a battery swapping station?

    The battery swapping of electric vehicles refers to a new mode of supplementing the electric energy by exchanging with fully charged batteries when the batteries of electric vehicles are dead or insufficient; battery swapping station is an energy station that provides quick replacement for the power batteries of electric vehicles, plays the role of centralized charging and storage of batteries, battery swapping services.

    What are the different types of battery swapping station?

    The function of the power station is also similar to that of a gas station. It is mainly installed in public areas to provide battery swap services for one or more types of electric vehicles. According to different functions, the power exchange station has different service methods.

    Battery swapping station industry classification:

    • Battery swapping method: chassis battery replacement, side battery replacement, sub-box battery replacement
    • Battery pack form: whole pack replacement, sub-box replacement
      Degree of automation: manual battery replacement, semi-automatic battery replacement, fully automatic battery replacement
    • Applied models: Passenger car power station, commercial vehicle power station

    What are the battery swapping modes of electric vehicles?

    The battery swap mode refers to the use of centralized charging stations for centralized storage, centralized charging, and uniform distribution of a large number of batteries, and the replacement of batteries for new energy vehicles in the battery distribution station. The battery swap mode is a fast charging method for new energy vehicles. Quickly recharge new energy vehicles by replacing batteries. The new energy vehicle battery replacement mode integrates battery charging, logistics deployment and battery replacement functions.

    Battery swap mode: centralized charging mode and battery swap mode

    At present, most of the power swapping methods adopted in the market are charging and swapping station models.

    How does a battery swapping station work?

    How does a battery swapping station work
    How does a battery swapping station work

    Battery swapping station service mode

    1. Chassis vertical power exchange method, also called vertical plug-in power exchange

    The battery pack is usually installed on the chassis of the vehicle. The battery has better concealment and higher safety, but it needs to be guided. The power station needs three degrees of freedom for power replacement. NIO and Tesla battery replacement are relatively complicated and costly.

    2. The power swap method on the side of the chassis, also called parallel plug-in power swap

    The battery is fixed in the form of a frame, the battery is installed firmly, and the electrical connection is reliable. The protection of the battery depends on the protection of the chassis of the whole vehicle, and the sealing is not easy to guarantee. It needs to be aligned manually, the operation process is difficult to form a standard, and the battery replacement takes a long time.

    3. Sub-box method, also called end-face battery swap

    There is no guiding shaft hole, the stroke is short when changing the battery, the joint area is dense, and the corresponding battery replacement position and battery installation space reserved by the vehicle are smaller; the alignment is mainly carried out by the joint surface of the battery car and the plug-in on the body, and the plug-in The manufacturing precision itself is higher, the plug-in is more complicated, and the cost is higher.

    Battery swapping station industry chain

    • Upstream: battery swapping equipment. Battery companies and battery swapping equipment manufacturers are responsible for providing power batteries and swapping station equipment corresponding to the scope of application.
    • Midstream: battery swap operators. The construction and operator of the battery swapping station is responsible for the construction and operation of the swap station, and provides swap services for the market. According to the China Charging Alliance, at present, China’s battery swapping station operators mainly include Aulton New Energy, NIO, FIRST T, etc.
    • Downstream: application scenarios. Private cars, taxis, buses, and short-distance heavy-duty trucks can all be used as application scenarios for battery swapping, and most scenarios have already begun to be implemented gradually.

    At the same time, with the development of the whole industry chain of battery swap stations, automotive panels, charging pile panels, and battery swap station equipment components have also opened up new opportunities for development in the fields of CCL, MCCL, PCB and PCBA manufacturing.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of battery swapping station?

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of battery swapping station
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of battery swapping station
    • Advantage:
    1. Safety: The battery pack that adopts the battery swapping mode can receive timely medical examination and maintenance. Based on the optimal care of the battery pack, professionals supervise the process, and the charging is safer, so electric vehicles can also drive more safely.
    2. High operating efficiency: Electric vehicles using the battery swap mode can complete rapid energy replenishment in 3-5 minutes from low power to full power, effectively solving mileage anxiety and in line with traditional fuel supply methods. For the DC fast charging mode, it takes about 1 hour. For the single volume of the station, the swap station can serve more electric vehicles in the same period of time.
    3. High resource utilization rate: Under the same capacity, the resource utilization rate of the replacement station is about three times that of the fast charging station, and there will be no waste due to battery upgrades.
    4. Long battery life: Relevant research shows that the battery life of the battery replacement scheme is about 2 to 4 times that of the fast charging mode.
    5. Small impact on the power grid: the power required for battery replacement is 1/4 of that of fast charging with the same service capacity, the load fluctuation is small, and the impact on the power grid is small.
    6. Sustainable business operation model: Under the background of the battery swap station, the business model of separation of vehicles and electricity can be generated, and gradient utilization can be realized from taxis to private cars. Taking the battery exchange business ecological model that separates “vehicle and electricity” as an example, there are many ways to participate in this ecosystem, closely linking upstream and downstream related companies to jointly extract the value of the entire life cycle of power batteries.
    • Disadvantage:
    1. High cost: Including land use, power replacement equipment, battery storage, etc., the initial investment cost of the battery swapping station is high. At the same time, compared with the charging mode, a certain number of staff are required for the operation and maintenance of the battery swap equipment in the swap station, as well as the unified charging, storage and deployment of the power battery. Therefore, the post-operation cost of the battery swapping station is higher than that of the charging station.
    2. In the short term, the utilization rate of battery swapping stations is not high: At present, the market that just needs battery swaps is mainly commercial passenger cars and commercial vehicles, while the penetration rate of private cars is still low in the short term, and further efforts are needed, and the later operating costs are also relatively high, so It is difficult to make profits in the short term;
    3. The technical standards for battery swapping are not uniform: Although all parties are working together, the actual road may still be long and difficult;
    4. Incomplete supporting services and policies: including battery insurance and vehicle accident liability division under the vehicle-electricity separation mode.

    What is the impact of battery swapping in new energy vehicles?

    At present, the application of battery replacement for new energy vehicles has good applications on the private end, operating vehicle end, and commercial vehicle end. It can fully solve the problems of high daily mileage and high energy replenishment efficiency of operating vehicles and commercial vehicles, and make up for the shortage of charging piles.

    From the perspective of the development of new energy vehicle technology, the current model of “charging + battery replacement + separate sales of vehicle and battery” for new energy vehicles is mature, and new energy vehicle batteries can be bought, rented or replaced.

    The energy replenishment modes of new energy vehicles mainly include charging pile energy replenishment and battery swapping station. Compared with charging and replenishing energy, the power swap mode has the advantages of short power replenishment time, low loss of battery life, and improved battery safety through continuous monitoring of battery usage. Small footprint and other advantages.

    Battery swapping station vs charging pile - which is the best choice?

    Battery swapping station vs charging pile
    Battery swapping station vs charging pile

    1. Compatibility : battery swapping station ≤ charging pile

    Compared with the charging pile, the battery swapping station can provide energy supply for electric vehicles, but in terms of compatibility, battery swapping station is far inferior to the charging pile. Because charging piles have no requirements for the brand or model of electric vehicles, they can be charged; but battery swapping station is the opposite, so battery swapping station is more restricted.

    2. Charging efficiency : battery swapping station > charging pile

    The power-swapping time of the swap station is about 5 minutes; however, some battery swapping station have problems such as insufficient maintenance and insufficient charging power, which will also affect the charging efficiency.
    The charging time of the fast charging pile is 30-60 minutes (to 80%); the charging time of the slow charging pile is as long as several hours.
    Compared with the refueling of traditional fuel vehicles, battery swapping is closer to refueling and more efficient in terms of usage time. However, the actual charging time of the current fast-charging charging pile is related to the battery capacity (size), charging pile power (speed), rate limit (protection), etc. of the electric vehicle, and cannot fully reach the rated power of the charging pile.

    3. Coverage : battery swapping station ≤ charging pile

    At present, there are very few replacement power stations, which only cover major cities and highway areas with high traffic rates, and cannot match the charging piles with extremely high coverage, not to mention that charging piles can be installed directly at home.

    From the current point of view, battery replacement is only used in specific scenarios and areas. To become a mainstream model, compatibility and coverage issues need to be resolved; and charging piles are low in price, wide in coverage of charging stations, and complete in use. And after-sales processes are relatively mature, which makes our lives more convenient.

    4. Investment cost : battery swapping station > charging pile

    The investment cost of a battery swapping station is about 1.5 to 4 million yuan, including fixed asset investment, site lease, personnel operation and maintenance, etc. Going back to the ordinary fast charging piles, the cost of charging piles ranges from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in terms of charging power. The slow charging pile is cheaper, usually can be built within 10,000 yuan, and it is small and convenient.

    5. Use cost : battery swapping station ≤ charging pile

    In terms of the cost of battery swapping, take NIO as an example, the price of battery replacement is 180 yuan, the battery capacity is 70Kwh, and the cruising range is about 420 kilometers, which is equivalent to 0.42 yuan per kilometer; Electricity fee packages for electricity exchange: Package A is 432 yuan/1200 kilometers; package B is 630 yuan/1800 kilometers; package C is 1020 yuan/3000 kilometers. Almost 0.34 yuan per kilometer.

    The general battery capacity of electric vehicles is about 50Kwh, the electricity (public) is about 1.5 yuan, the cost of full charging is 75 yuan, and the cruising range is about 300km, which is equivalent to about 0.25 yuan per kilometer.

    What are challenges for battery swapping station ?

    What are challenges for battery swapping station
    What are challenges for battery swapping station

    1. Battery capacity: The capacity of the battery pack is the dominant factor for the battery life of electric vehicles, and different models have different requirements for battery capacity

    2. Size: The size of the battery pack is based on the overall space layout of the electric vehicle, and the battery pack is generally placed on the chassis of the car. Different car companies and different models have different designs of battery packs, whether it is size or space layout.

    3. The types of battery packs, from the perspective of raw materials, can be divided into LFP and ternary lithium; from the perspective of grouping modes, there are different shapes such as square, cylinder, soft pack, blade, etc.; from the perspective of energy density, from low to High and varied. The battery module, to a certain extent, will also affect the shape and size of the battery pack, and the layout of electric vehicles.

    4. Battery swapping connection, this article is different from the previous two, as long as the standard is agreed, it is not difficult to produce or replace.

    Conclusion

    The battery swapping mode under the battery swapping station stores and charges a large number of batteries in a centralized charging station, and provides battery replacement services, which can effectively make up for the battery life of the charging mode and the technical shortcomings of the charging capacity, enhance the friendliness of the power grid, and improve the land efficiency.

    At present, the battery-swapping mode technology is gradually mature (BaaS mode may become the mainstream), and its value continues to emerge, which will help form a complementary business structure for charging and swapping, and will also promote the accelerated development of new energy vehicles.

    FAQ-about battery swapping station

    The battery-swapping mode is a fast charging method for new energy vehicles. It uses the battery replacement method to quickly replenish electricity for new energy vehicles. The battery-swapping mode of new-energy vehicles integrates battery charging, logistics deployment, and battery-swapping functions.

    The battery swapping station is an energy station that provides quick replacement for the power battery of an electric vehicle, and plays the role of centralized charging and storage of the battery, battery replacement and battery replacement services.

    Advantage:
    1. Safety is safer than charging
    2. High operating efficiency: 3-5 minutes to complete rapid energy replenishment
    3. High resource utilization
    4. Long battery life
    5. Small impact on the power grid
    6. Sustainable business operation model

    Disadvantage:
    1. The initial investment and later operation costs of power station replacement are high
    2. In the short term, the utilization rate of the power station is not high
    3. Technical standards for battery replacement have not yet been unified
    4. Incomplete supporting services and policies

    1. Compatibility: power station replacement ≤ charging pile
    2. Charging efficiency: power station replacement > charging pile
    3. Coverage: power station replacement ≤ charging pile
    4. Investment cost: power station replacement > charging pile
    5. Cost of use: power station replacement ≤ charging pile

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