Drive I/O | Big bets on battery swap

By Jill Shen

For years, batteries have been a big turn off for prospective EV owners. They drive up the cost of the cars, making them more expensive than gas autos—and then these costly batteries wear out faster than the rest of the car, causing EVs to lose value faster than gas cars. 

On top of that, they’re inconvenient. If you don’t have a special charging pile, it can take 12 hours to charge a car. And many car owners in China’s major cities don’t even have parking at home—let alone a private charging pile. Home charging installations are even strictly forbidden in some old, congested residential communities due to limited parking and power capacity. 

BAIC, a legacy carmaker with a manufacturing partnership with Dailmer, went first. It says it’s the world’s first operator of a commercial battery swap service for taxi drivers, with a network of around 200 swap stations across China.

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