CHINA. Nio’s 4th-Gen EV Battery Swap Stations Install a Fresh Pack in 144 Seconds

The first Power Swap Station 4.0 locations are now live in China as Nio advances its belief that switching out batteries, not waiting to recharge them, is the future.

Chinese EV brand Nio installed its first fourth-generation Power Swap Stations in China.

When drivers pull into a station, a tap on the dash screen triggers a robotic arm to remove the vehicle's battery pack and replace it with a fully charged one from the inventory. The process takes just 144 seconds—22% faster than the previous, third generation swapping stations.

“Both speed and capacity are brought to the next level,” Nio says. The new stations can perform 480 swaps per day, across brands and vehicle models. They hold up to 23 replacement packs, which now recharge faster thanks to a newly developed liquid-cooled charging cable.

The approach removes the need for drivers to wait for the battery to charge and gets them on the road faster. Nio has installed 2,432 Power Swap Stations in China to date, as well as 22,633 traditional charging stations.

The first fourth-generation stations are located in Guangzhou and a service area along the G40 Shanghai-Shaanxi Expressway. The station in Guangzhou is the area's 108th. The station along the expressway is the first to be developed in partnership with energy company Zhongan Energy.

“Going forward, NIO and Zhongan Energy will deploy more all-in-one stations, meaning the charging and swapping stations are also capable of solar power generation and energy storage,” Nio says.

Nio launched in 2014 and primarily operates in China, though it recently expanded to Europe. Its vehicle lineup includes eight EVs, including one on the way with a semi-solid state battery, though you won't find any Nio EVs in the US thanks to high tariffs. The company delivered 20,544 vehicles in May 2024, a 233.8% increase year-over-year.