NIO's third-generation battery swap station will not only be able to store more batteries, but is also expected to be compatible with battery packs of different specifications and sizes, the latest patent documents show.
NIO is filing several new patents related to its signature battery swap station, showing its possible specifications for the next generation of the facility.
The three patents, which were published earlier this month, show that NIO's next-generation battery swap station will not only be able to store more battery packs, but will also have greater compatibility to serve vehicles with different pack sizes.
One of the patent documents shows that the new battery swap station will be able to store up to 22 battery packs.
NIO's initial 200 battery swap stations are first-generation facilities that store up to five batteries and have a maximum daily service capacity of 120.
The company put its first second-generation battery swap station into operation on April 15, 2021, with storage for up to 13 batteries and a maximum daily service capacity of 312.
The latest patent shows that the design of the new battery swap station will also address the existing battery compartment's problem of untimely cooling of abnormal batteries.
The following is from the patent's description:
When the system detects that the battery on the battery rack is at risk, it can first transport the risky battery to the support part and continuously monitor the risky battery.
When the risky battery becomes abnormal, the support part releases the risky battery and the battery can quickly fall into the cooling chamber below, allowing the abnormal battery to be handled in a timely manner and reducing safety risks.
In addition to being able to store more batteries, the new battery swap station is also expected to gain greater compatibility to support different sizes and battery packs, according to a separate patent document.
With specific settings for different battery sizes, the unlocking and locking mechanism can be moved to match the different battery sizes, according to the patent description.
In this way, the battery swap device can disassemble and install multiple power batteries of different sizes, improving the compatibility of the swap device, according to the description.
The new version of NIO's battery swap station will also have a charging compartment and a storage compartment, according to third-party patent documents. The system will automatically determine the target compartment for a battery, thus improving charging efficiency.
These patent documents were filed in late August and early September and were made public earlier this month. The current legal status is preliminary examination eligible.
At the second NIO Power Day event held on July 6, NIO co-founder and president Qin Lihong teased the company's third-generation battery swap station, saying it will have a larger capacity and more flexible layout.
NIO's third-generation battery swap station was nearing the end of its development and was being tested and will be detailed by the end of the year or early next year, Qin said at the time.
The company today put one new battery swap station into operation in China, bringing the total to 1,211, according to data monitored by CnEVPost.
The company is aiming to bring the total number of facilities to more than 1,300 by the end of the year.
NIO also has 2,060 charging stations in China, providing 11,876 charging piles.