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China promotes battery swapping for EVs

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  • China is ramping up EV charging infrastructures to support the NEV sector growth. As an alternative solution to charging piles, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is also encouraging trials to explore the battery swapping model.​
  • Eleven cities have been approved by MIIT as trial cities for battery swapping in Nov 2021. Most of them have kicked off trials for taxis, ride-hailing and commercial vehicles since earlier 2022.​
  • The trial plans include preferential policy support for the battery swapping model, including additional subsidies for the operation of BS stations compared to EV charging stations.​
  • The recent acceleration of battery swapping is also driven by the enthusiasm of domestic players like Geely, NIO and CATL, who strive to obtain a competitive edge by leading the battery swapping technology and business.​
  • China has only 1,582 BS stations as of June 2022 (Source: Cinda Securities). However, the country is estimated to reach around 2,000 BS stations by the end of this year. Furthermore, the targets announced by four domestic companies (as shown in the graph) will lead to a total of 24,000 BS stations by 2025, 14 times more than the current figure.​
  • Foreign companies need to monitor the progress in battery swapping closely and prepare for possible challenges in case the battery swapping model becomes more prominent in the Chinese market.​

Sinolytics is a European research-based consultancy entirely focused on China. It advises European companies on their strategic orientation and concrete business activities in the People’s Republic.

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