SHANGHAI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - China's Contemporary Amperex
Technology Co Ltd on Tuesday launched a battery swap
service for electric vehicles (EV) called EVOGO, which it said
would allow drivers to change car batteries in one minute.
The battery maker will set up swap stations in ten cities
around China and users will be able to access the service via an
app, Chen Weifeng, general manager of CATL's subsidiary
Contemporary Amperex Energy Service Technology Ltd, said during
an event streamed live online.
The service allows drivers to swap out depleted battery
blocks for freshly charged ones at its swap stations, Chen said.
Chinese automaker FAW Group's Bestune NAT multi-purpose
vehicle will be the first car that the service will be
compatible with, he said, adding that more models would be
included in the future.
"We consider the battery as a shared product, instead of a
consumer product for personal use," said Chen.
He said EVOGO aimed to address "the challenge of range
anxiety, inconvenience of recharging and high purchasing and
driving costs" for owners.
EVOGO's launch comes as electric-vehicle sector companies
are competing to cut costs and reduce "range anxiety" to
increase the products' appeal, especially in China where EV
sales have taken off.
Chinese EV maker NIO has already built a network of
700 battery swapping stations across China since 2000, which
allows NIO car owners to swap a fully charged battery in three
Geely also said in September that it aims to set up 5,000
battery swapping stations for electric vehicles globally by
Tesla's fast charging technology Supercharger
usually takes 15 minutes to recharge up to 200 miles of range.
The U.S. automaker in the past tested, but then withdraw a plan
to offer battery swapping to customers.
Outside China, Honda Motor Co has partnered with
Yamaha Motor Co and scooter maker Piaggio to
develop swappable batteries for light electric vehicles. San
Francisco startup Ample has partnered with Uber to
offer battery swapping services to Uber drivers in California.
(Reporting by Zhang Yan, and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christian
Schmollinger and Jane Merriman)