Chinese NEV automaker GAC Aion is expanding its repertoire of EV technologies to include battery swap stations. The company announced its first station has opened in Guangzhou and can replace an EV battery in under 2.5 minutes. GAC Aion is the latest company to implement battery swap stations in China.
Aion is an all-electric marque of Guangzhou Automobile Corporation (GAC) Group. Currently, the automaker sells five electric vehicles, including its latest SUV, the Aion LX Plus, which went on sale in early 2022 and offers over 620 miles of range (NEDC).
In addition to manufacturing new electric vehicles (NEVs), GAC Aion has also been implementing impressive charging technology in China. Last summer, the company unveiled a 480 kW DC fast charger, which can charge an Aion V SUV from 30–80% in under five minutes. The charge rate is significantly less than the 600 kW the company originally promised but impressive nonetheless.
With its latest announcement, GAC Aion has joined competitors like NIO and, most recently, CATL by entering the battery swap segment.
GAC Aion opens first of 220 battery swap stations this year
CnEVPost shared the news from GAC Aion out of China today by announcing that the automaker has successfully opened its first station in the city of Guangzhou where it is headquartered. According to the report, GAC Aion has 219 more swap stations planned for its home city in 2022 alone.
GAC Aion also shared that its new station supports automatic EV charging in addition to battery swaps, making it the first location in China to completely automate the battery replenishment process, no matter the method.
GAC Aion’s swap process includes bolt on battery packs, which by standards established in China must be able to endure at least 5,000 swaps through their life cycle. According to the automaker, its batteries support a replacement life up to 8,000 swaps and can be robotically switched in under 2.5 minutes.
For comparison, battery swap trailblazer NIO uses the same bolt on battery approach and claims its stations can switch out a battery back in under three minutes.
Looking ahead, GAC Aion expects to have over 1,000 swap stations in Guangzhou by 2025. From there, it will replicate its installation model to other cities in China as well as overseas.
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