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How Did the 1-Minute EV Charging Work in China? | Live Replay

By Eiko ChengICHONGQING|May 09,2022

Chongqing – In 2021, the Chinese government announced Chongqing and seven other cities and provinces as EV battery swapping application pilot cities. In 2025, Chongqing’s intelligent EV vehicle production will reach 1 million units. This city is implementing new policies, adding more EV infrastructures, and encouraging enterprises to develop the EV market.

In this episode of iChongqing’s live stream show Innovate Chongqing, we took a look at one of the batteries charging methods: battery swapping technology. It’s a solution for electric vehicles, such as taxis, that are on the road for much of the day, and also an option for people who live in the city that couldn’t have a place to charge. Like many metropolises globally, Chongqing is adopting this charging method gradually.

A taxis is coming out from the EV battery-swapping station.(Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

A taxi is coming out from the EV battery-swapping station (Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

Lifan, a local brand that used to be a traditional motorcycle vehicle company, has transformed some parts of its business into electric vehicle manufacture. The motorcycle industry is one of the pillar industries in Chongqing. As the government promotes the new energy vehicles, the traditional vehicle brands are developing the EV market by offering multiple customer solutions, and battery swapping is one of them. The project was co-founded with Geely, one of the most famous EV brands worldwide. Geely provides research and development and supplies chain-related support, and Lifan provides production qualifications and manufacturing bases. 

An EV battery swapping station at Lifan Manufacturer(Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

An EV battery-swapping station at Lifan Manufacturer (Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

The swapping station is totally automatic. It needs no man to guard or help. This was built on the application of automated logistic technology. In addition, battery swapping grows with the development of the intelligent logistic system and vehicle-to-everything in China. The EV battery swapping system shares the same data with every electric car, and they are connected. So all the information about the vehicle will be shown on the screen of the stations, where it can guide you to swap the battery and monitor the process.

The 1-minute EV battery swapping animation(Photo/Geely)

The 1-minute EV battery swapping process animation (Photo/Geely)

The battery swapping also benefits the taxi and car-hailing drivers by the nighttime electric prize discount so that they can get their cars on the roads as much as possible during peak hours and get more rest. (The technology extends their operational time, increasing the driver’s income by 60-120 yuan (about 9-18 bucks) a day.

EV infrastructure is still a problem in every country. People who drive EVs do not have enough plug-in charging stations in the current situation. Battery swapping is one of the different applications for people to choose which one is right for them. In Chongqing, the problem is more complicated. The weather here is quite extreme in a year. The average temperature in summer here hits 91 Fahrenheit. Winter here is wet and cold, and Chongqing is a mountainous city. Therefore,  more energy is needed when people drive electric cars to climb up the hills and turn on the air conditioners in the car. The battery swapping electric vehicle has more power and faster speed than the fuel vehicle, increasing the efficiency for drivers. 

Eiko@iChongqing interviewing a taxi driver who drives a battery-swapping EV.(Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

Eiko@iChongqing is interviewing a taxi driver who drives a battery-swapping EV (Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

Also, the battery swapping station helps to balance the power grid in high-traffic cities. When electric vehicles reach a certain number and are randomly charged, it might affect the power grid and residential electricity consumption. With more swapping stations applied, we can charge when it makes sense to the grid as these batteries can charge during the low period of the grid. This will benefit the city’s grid by decreasing pressure, and the resources can be arranged more scientifically.

An app will guide you when to swap, where to swap, and how to swap, and you just going to sit in your car without doing anything when it's swapping.(Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

An app will guide you on when to swap, where to swap, and how to swap, and you just got to sit in your car without doing anything when it’s swapping. (Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

Eiko has visited a vehicle manufacturer in Chongqing. It has an electric vehicle battery swapping station there, and she experienced the 1-minute EV battery swapping process. While interviewing the manager of the swapping station, the audience got to know how the system is running, how this technology is applied in this city, and discussed the future of the battery swapping industry. 

Eiko@iChongqing experienced the EV battery swapping process(Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

Eiko@iChongqing experienced the EV battery swapping process (Photo/ Lu Xiaojie)

Check the live stream video, like, share, and subscribe to support our content.

(Sun Wenjia and Lu Xiaojie, the interns, also has contributed to the live stream and shooting)  

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