Photo courtesy of CATL

CATL launches first EVOGO battery swap stations in China

On April 18, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries with a market share of 32.6% in 2021, announced the official launch of its EVOGO battery swap service in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province. CATL has rolled out four initial sites, in Siming District, Huli District and Haicang District of Xiamen.

CATL’s EVOGO battery swap service uses a Swappable Electric Block (SEB), which it calls Choco-SEBs. The battery modules can be easily swapped, within one minute, and each station can hold 48 Choco-SEBs.  The rental of one Choco-SEB block was confirmed as RMB 399 per month, almost equivalent to a fast-charging service, although, CATL noted a dynamic adjustment according to different station locations and time slots.  

Bestune NAT, a small people mover from the FAW Group, is currently the only compatible vehicle, though, the company confirmed plans to add more partners to release more EVOGO vehicle models soon. CATL indicated that the Choco-SEB is compatible with 80% of the global battery-electric vehicles available on the market.

CATL intends to increase the footprint of EVOGO swapping stations to 30 by the end of 2022, providing access to swapping stations within a radius of 3 kilometres to drivers on Xiamen Island.  The company suggests its EVOGO battery swap solution will offer a convenient refuelling experience and extend access to EVs for consumers with no charging parking.

CATL is not the first to roll out fast battery swapping services. Chinese multinational automobile manufacturer, NIO, announced in its Q1 2022 update that it has deployed 884 Power Swap stations — in addition to 727 Power Charger stations and 3,832 destination chargers in China. Volvo owner Geely has also rolled out battery swap services in China. Statistics from the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance indicate that there were 1451 fully operational battery swap stations across China as of March 2022.