Swapping Battery Packs - Jaguar I-Pace EV400 Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Swapping Battery Packs

The August issue of Car &Driver has an update on this article. Apparently Nio has 112 of these battery pack swap stations, which can swap out the battery pack in 3 minutes. Cool concept! It would make traveling in a BEV as easy as traveling in a normal car!

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a2...vehicles-need/
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 08:42 AM
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Except with faster and faster charging and having to do a lot of work to swap batteries isnt it just easier to simply build more fast charging stations than scatter large batteries and swap them at many locations?

It didnt make sense when Tesla was talking about it either.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 12:55 PM
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The sheer size, varying technology factors and economics of EV batteries (inventory, anyone?) make swapping them like camera batteries impractical and uneconomical, as Tesla discovered when it started down this path. As we've seen, the charging rates increase seemingly with each passing quarter... it won't be another 2 years before an EV "fillup" won't take longer than an ICE fill-up. With range 'comfortably' exceeding 200mi and pushing 400mi (Telsa and soon others), charging rate is the last hurdle to mass EV adoption. Well, other than charging infrastructure, but that's evolving quickly, too!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 01:48 PM
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There was a company named A Better Place, headquartered in Israel, that tried to develop fast battery swap process and tech. To make a go, they would have needed standardization from many EV manufacturers and they would have needed a way to deal with battery warranty issues and ... well... a whole lot of other logistical problems. Fast chargers are cheaper and required less capital per site than this business plan. If you want to get a better idea of the complexity, this article is pretty good: https://qz.com/88871/better-place-sh...car-batteries/

This was back when range was about 100 miles and fast chargers hadn't really emerged yet.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epirali View Post
Except with faster and faster charging and having to do a lot of work to swap batteries isn’t it just easier to simply build more fast charging stations than scatter large batteries and swap them at many locations?

It didn’t make sense when Tesla was talking about it either.
Based on the article the Chinese are making it work pretty well. The footprint of the contraption takes 3 parking spots, so it isn’t big; it holds 5 batteries which are recharged to 100% within 2 hours; it only takes 3 minutes, start to finish.

I would certainly prefer a battery with 100% within 3 minutes versus sitting and waiting for my battery to be recharged. I am doubtful we will achieve 100% charge with 3 minutes any time in the future
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 03:06 PM
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Based on the article the Chinese are making it work pretty well. The footprint of the contraption takes 3 parking spots, so it isnt big; it holds 5 batteries which are recharged to 100% within 2 hours; it only takes 3 minutes, start to finish.

I would certainly prefer a battery with 100% within 3 minutes versus sitting and waiting for my battery to be recharged. I am doubtful we will achieve 100% charge with 3 minutes any time in the future
Yes but there are other considerations in my opinion. First there is no guarantee what the "state" of your swapped battery will be, each time you are essentially getting a different battery with a different age over time. Second it just seems like a lot of handling and potential for issues, including having to store and haul heavy batteries.

In my opinion its one of those "ideas" that reads well but doesn't really scale. And with charging speeds hitting 200 KWHr is this really that critical? If I am driving a car that gets 4 Miles/KWHr I am gaining around 13 miles/minutes, and I think I could deal with 10 minutes to gain over 100 miles of range per stop.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 04:02 PM
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This makes sense in dense urban areas where people don't have a way to charge overnight and the batteries are relatively small and light. Then again, cars suck for dense urban areas.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 11:07 PM
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I would think the battery swap would be best for fleet service. One entity owns all the extra batteries. Vehicles just come in as needed to swap and keep going. Even a bus could do this and exchange the battery on every lap.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 04:54 PM
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I can't wait until fleets of "prehistoric garbage trucks" (Dire Straits, anyone?) go electric. The entire country will get more sleep, at least those of us whose pickup times come before sunrise.

On that (noisy) note, has anyone else's neighbor asked if they could "turn off" their car's backup beep (reminiscent of a garbage truck at 5am) ??
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 09:48 PM
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Might work for fleets, otherwise:

1: Most of us want to own then battery. Swapping means the unknown in your car. Fine for my propane BBQ tank, not for my $100k car.

2: Fast swappable battery packs pose an unacceptable design burden. The batteries in the i-Pace are buried in the floor. Making that fast-swappable means big design changes and compromises on car shape/size to standardize the shape and make them accessible.

3: One of the differentiating factors in EVs is the battery. Some pay more for range, some less for less range. Some manufacturers push the tech to have a lighter, better battery to better compete. All that stops is you standardize the battery, and not standardizes the battery kills the economics of the idea.

Nice idea that falls apart very fast.
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