Chinese battery electric vehicle (BEV) startup Nio said it had agreed a deal with state owned automaker Changan Automobile to promote battery swapping technology for electric vehicles in the country.

Nio said it would work with Chongqing based Changan to “jointly facilitate the formulation of standards for swappable batteries, build and share the battery swapping network, develop swappable vehicles and establish an efficient battery asset management mechanism”.

Shanghai based Nio, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), said in a statement: “Expanding recharging networks is core to the development of the smart electric vehicle industry. It is proven that battery swapping is a quick, efficient and sustainable recharging [service] for smart electric vehicles.”

The automaker said it wanted to improve efficiency and speed up the establishment of battery swapping networks by establishing universal standards and encouraging wider adoption of the battery swapping model across the industry. The deal with Changan is seen as a major milestone in this direction.

Nio already has a significant battery swapping network in China, with 3,000 Power Swap Stations expected to be in operation nationwide by the end of the year. The network will be strengthened as a result of this deal with Changan.

Chairman and CEO William Li said his company “has already gained significant experience in developing battery swapping technology and in building networks and is ready to share this with the entire industry”.

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By GlobalData

Changan chairman Zhu Huarong said in a statement: “As China is doubling down on new energy and smart connected vehicles, the implementation of Nio’s battery swapping model marks a significant milestone for the industry,” adding the two companies also aim to strengthen cooperation in areas such as energy, charging and vehicle development.