Chinese state-owned automaker FAW Group has agreed to establish a battery-swapping partnership with electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Nio Inc, according to local reports.

Nio has signed a string of similar deals with other local vehicle manufacturers, including Geely, Changan, and GAC, as it looks to expand its network of battery-swapping stations across the country.

The battery swapping process, which allows EV owners to swap an empty battery for a fully charged one, is completed in minutes and is seen as a viable solution to the shortage of charging stations in the country – as BEV sales continue to surge.

Battery swapping also helps automakers offer separate leasing deals for batteries, which can account for up to 40% of the cost of a BEV. Battery leasing helps manage costs relating to the end of battery life, with current warranties typically covering BEV batteries for eight years or 120,000 km.

The partnership between FAW and Nio involves establishing common battery technology standards, collaboration in the design and development of swappable batteries, battery management systems and charging infrastructure development.

Nio has established the largest battery-swapping network in China, with more than 2,400 swapping stations in operations at present.

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