Listen to this article
Battery manufacturer CATL has launched a new battery swapping service called EVOGO.
The service will feature modular battery-swapping using dedicated swapping stations and customers will interact with the service through a dedicated app.
Initially, the service will be offered in 10 cities – though CATL hasn’t specified where these will be.
CATL and its subsidiary CAES, who will operate the service, believe that car batteries are fundamentally shared products – which it believes will create a “whole new experience for the market.”
The swappable battery blocks are designed to look like bars of chocolate, apparently, and are designed specifically for battery-sharing. These so-called “Choco-SEB (swapping electric block) batteries are smaller and have a high energy density than traditional rivals.
A single block, according to CATL, can achieve a driving range of 200 km and is compatible with 80% of global BEV platform-based vehicles on the market and “all” BEV platform-based models to be released in the next three years.
The battery swapping stations, meanwhile, are set to be around the same size as three parking spaces, and a standard EVOGO battery swap station can house up to 48 Choco-SEB battery packs. Swapping times should be around one minute.
The companion app will link customers with all the different modules of EVOGO, allowing the connection among customers, vehicles, stations and batteries, and provides other services.
Unlike conventional battery swap solutions, EVOGO has achieved two innovative modes of compatibility. Choco-SEB is designed to suit vehicles ranging from Class-A00, Class-B, and Class-C passenger cars to logistics vehicles. At the same time, the swap stations can match all vehicle models by different OEMs that use Choco-SEBs, allowing a free choice of vehicle models for battery swaps.
Of course, this all sounds very good on paper but with CATL being coy on when and where the battery swapping stations will be constructed, we will have to wait and see whether consumers choose to bite on its Choco-SEB battery packs.