‘Battery Swapping’ becoming popular for electric vehicles in China

Over the past few months we have published a number of stories concerning how the government and the EU are coming up with new ways to make commercial vehicles more eco-friendly and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. So far the EU have announced that in the future all commercial vehicles will have to have speed limiters installed and commercial vehicle manufacturers will have to reduce the average amount of emissions to around 147 grams per kilometre.

However, all these efforts from governments around the world have still not had a massive effect on the electric commercial vehicle market in the UK, and this is mainly due to the fact that most people are wary of buying electric vehicles as they are more expensive and cost more in insurance for vans. Furthermore, many people are concerned that battery powered vehicles will have to be recharged often, and that the whole recharging process will be too slow so their vehicle will have to be off the road for a long period of time.

However, in China they have already come up with a way to solve this problem: swapping drained batteries with freshly charged ones so commercial vehicles can get back on the road quickly and easily. In an article for the Electronics News, manufacturer of electrical and electronic technology Phoenix Contact have explained this new trend and the benefit it has for the electric commercial vehicle market. In the article they wrote: “The main advantage of using battery swapping for commercial vehicles is that they usually travel predefined routes.”

“City and commuter buses are not required to drive long distances, so range is not an issue. Another point in favor of battery swapping for buses is that their stationary times should be as short as possible; the charging duration becomes irrelevant because all the charging takes place back at the depot.” However, discussing the future of this practice the article concluded that: “Electromobility today is essentially still in the testing stage; the first applications are still undergoing trials in realtime/realworld environments.”

“In Qingdao, further charging stations are in planning already, with some already under construction. By the end of 2013, 1,500 e-buses are projected to be on the roads. Charging stations are also springing up in other cities across China, and Phoenix Contact is involved in a number of these projects. Similarly in Europe, there is growing interest in battery swapping solutions for commercial traffic.”

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