Geely Holding Group, one of China’s auto titans, has teamed forces with Nio on its battery-swapping technology in a strategic move that might transform the electric vehicle market.
In Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, where Geely is located, Nio and Geely Holding signed a strategic collaboration agreement. This collaboration intends to accelerate the adoption of unified standards, extend the ecosystem for battery swapping, and improve the charging experience for electric vehicle consumers.
According to the agreement, the two companies will collaborate on numerous critical components of the battery swap ecosystem:
- Standardization of swappable batteries: Nio and Geely will develop standards for swappable batteries, ensuring compatibility across different vehicle models.
- Battery swap network expansion: They will focus on constructing and sharing an extensive battery swap network to cater to diverse customer needs.
- Battery swap-enabled vehicle development: Both companies will collaborate on creating vehicles that are compatible with battery swap technology, offering consumers more choices in the EV market.
- Efficient battery asset management: The partnership will also establish an efficient mechanism for managing battery assets, streamlining the operation of the battery swap network.
Geely Holding, a powerhouse in the automotive industry, owns well-known brands like Geely Auto, Zeekr, Lynk & Co, and Livan, and controls international brands including Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus. In the first ten months of 2023, Geely Holding’s local brands sold over a million units, securing a 6.4% share of the Chinese auto market. In the new energy vehicle (NEV) sector, Geely sold 346,464 units during the same period, ranking fourth with a 5.8% share.
Geely has its own network of battery swap stations
Geely’s battery swapping ambitions complement its portfolio of ride-hailing services and EVs for taxi drivers. Geely presently produces EVs with swappable batteries under two brands: Cao Cao Auto and Livan. Cao Cao Auto provides a similar ride-hailing service to Uber, whilst Livan provides inexpensive electric passenger vehicles with battery swap capability. The Livan 7, for example, is not only the most affordable electric passenger vehicle with LiDAR in the world, but also the most economical model that permits battery changing.
Nio has already made tremendous progress in the field of battery swapping. In 2018, the company opened its first battery swap station in Shenzhen, and it has since grown its network to over 2,000 locations around China. Approximately 33 million battery changes have been performed at these stations. This achievement in China could open the way for Nio’s global development, with roughly 30 Power Swap Stations (PSS) now functioning in Europe.
Geely’s Livan 7 is the cheapest EV with swappable battery technology.
Geely’s entry into the Nio-led alliance signals a new phase of development. As Geely and Changan join forces with Nio, the EV industry is witnessing the formation of a formidable consortium focused on reshaping how EVs are charged and powered.
Nio has over 2,000 stations across China
Nio compares its battery switching strategy to a cloud service. Opening up its battery swap technology to other automakers is an important strategy as it seeks to disrupt the industry by offering a smooth and convenient charging option.
It should be noted that Geely and Nio are not the only parties involved in this battery swap arrangement. Nio made a similar partnership with Changan, another famous Chinese automaker, just a week before teaming with Geely.Changan and Huawei have just formed a joint venture that technically pulls Huawei into the picture as well, albeit through a back door for the time being. This rapidly developing coalition has the potential to challenge BYD’s dominance in the Chinese EV industry.