China could launch network of battery swapping vans

China has already built the largest electric vehicle charging grid and they are expanding a nationwide battery swapping network.

Statistics show that SGCC has built 5,526 charging and battery swap stations and more than 40,000 charging piles since 2006, with a fast-charging motorway network that covers 121 cities in 16 provinces. The average distance between two stations is less than 50 kilometers.

SGCC plans to expand its own charging pile count to 120,000 by 2020, and the inter-city fast charging network will cover Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, all cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and 202 major cities in other regions.

According to SGCC Spokesperson Wang Yanfang, the company will reduce the maximum distance between charging stations to less than 5 kilometers in suburban areas, less than 3 kilometers in inner suburbs, and less than 1 kilometer in urban areas.

There is a paper that has detailed plans for a network of battery swapping vans and the recommendation to use zinc nickel batteries.

The power density and energy density of the four types of batteries are not too different, however the zinc air battery and zinc nickel battery are more suitable as swapping batteries for their higher service life and recycling rate, and lower cost.

The State Grid Corporation of China clearly stipulates that the charging price for EVs must consist of the basic electricity energy price and a service fee. Currently, the charging price is set as 1.2¥/kwh in Beijing. Generally, it will take several hours for an EV to fully charge its battery. For example, it will take about 6 h for a BYD-E6 vehicle (300 km, 57 kwh) to get its battery 80% charged with a charging power of 7.5 kw. If the parking price is 8¥/h and the parking fee of the first hour is free, then the total charging fee is about 94¥. The average charging fee of 1 kwh electricity energy is about 2.09¥. The fixed price of the proposed mobile battery swapping service is close to the basic electricity energy price, it mostly fluctuates between 0.6 and 1.0 in Beijing, so in principle the EV users will pay less for the battery swapping service.