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Nio unveils 500kW charger, new battery swapping station

Chinese electric car maker and technology company Nio has unveiled a new ultra-fast charging station with a maximum capacity of 500kW at 650A current.

The DC charger pile is advertised as capable of charging a long-range EV pack (100 kWh battery) from 10 to 80 percent in just 20 minutes.

The liquid-cooled charging cable greatly reduces weight, making it easier to use by hand. This super-fast charging pile will be open to other brands of electric vehicles, the company added.

Naturally, it needs to be a car running on an 800V platform to achieve top speed – examples beyond the Nios are the Porsche Taycan, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6.

The Nio tower’s maximum charging capacity is higher than that of Chinese rival brand Xpeng, which launched the S4 Supercharger in August 2022 with a ceiling of 480 kW (and a maximum current of 670A).

Not too long ago, 350 kW chargers (such as those made by Australia’s Tritium) were the top tier and still the top option for local DC public chargers.

Along with developing a wide range of cars and selling chargers, Nio is also well known in China (and starting in Europe too) for its battery swapping stations.

Simultaneously with the 500kW DC charger, it revealed the third generation power swap station design, increasing capacity to 408 swaps per day, an increase of 30%.

These stations are highly automated for Nio products, using summoning and swapping mining into laser radar and two Nvidia OrinX chips.

These stations allow Nio to sell batteries as a service (BaaS), meaning owners effectively lease out battery access – meaning their cars are always running up-to-date packages.

While largely focused on China, Nio is now expanding into European markets with a growing range that includes ES6, ES7 and ES8 SUVs, EC6 and EC7 crossovers, and ET5 and ET7 sedans.

THAN: Brand overview on Nio

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