Geely Automobile Group has established a new joint venture with Lifan Technology to provide battery swapping services for China’s fast-expanding electric vehicle (EV) market, according to local reports.

The new company, called Chongqing Livan Automotive Technology, has completed the registration procedures and already obtained the necessary business licences, according to a stock exchange filing by Geely. The 50-50 joint venture will have an initial capital of CNY600m (US$95m).

The news comes just days after China’s leading EV battery manufacturer launched its own Evogo battery swapping service, while other EV manufacturers, such as Nio and Xpeng, are also building their own networks as they look to secure their share of the future automotive aftersales market.

Battery swapping offers a key advantage over current recharging stations, namely quicker turnarounds, as well as allowing consumers to buy an EV without a battery at a lower cost and subsequently subscribe to a battery leasing programme.

Livan Automotive plans to introduce a variety of new powertrain products and create a competitive, intelligent battery swapping ecosystem, according to Geely’s filing.

Geely has been developing battery swapping technology since 2017 and launched its first station, called E-Energee, in Chongqing in September 2020. Through the joint venture, it aims to expand the network to 5,000 stations across China by 2025.