Report: Renault CEO sees “opportunity upside” in reviving EV battery swapping designs

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Renault CEO Luca de Meo sees a “potential upside” to reviving the EV battery-swapping tech the French automaker shelved a long time in the past, in accordance to the Financial Occasions.

“It’s not made a decision, but I see it as an fascinating opportunity,” de Meo mentioned.

Which is an appealing assertion from the head of an automaker that has flip-flopped on battery swapping many situations more than the last decade.

In 2011, Renault named EV battery swapping also high-priced for mass-industry designs. Yet, Renault rollout out one particular design that did offer you battery swapping—the Fluence Z.E. in 2011. This sedan was primarily utilised by Israeli battery-swapping startup Improved Area, which built a little community of swapping stations in its dwelling place, but declared personal bankruptcy in May perhaps 2013.

Superior Spot showed all the techniques in which the design for battery swapping could go incorrect, like the difficulty of scaling up operations. Much better Place by no means attracted ample buyers to endure, and it did not anticipate the arrival of for a longer period-vary electric powered autos, the proliferation of community charging stations, or customers’ choice for property charging in excess of any option that needs a focused vacation.

Renault Fluence ZE electric powered autos in Israel, presented by Greater Spot [photo: Better Place]

In addition, the basic safety hurdles would be additional complicated right now, with the introduction of liquid cooling for most EV battery packs. Whilst the Fluence Z.E. was made with battery swapping in head, that would be additional tricky for a fashionable EV, as cooling traces would have to be disconnected through the swap.

Startup Ample hopes to tackle this with proprietary battery modules designed to perform with its swapping stations, but that would nevertheless demand automakers to undertake these modules about their have models.

Renault is getting ready to start a family of EVs working with a new modular platform termed CMF-EV. It’s unclear if this platform—which will also be utilized by Nissan, Infiniti, and Mitsubishi—was engineered with battery swapping in mind, but including that capability does not appear to be clear-cut.

Nio battery station

Nio battery station

In contrast, Chinese automaker Nio has located achievement with battery swapping for the reason that it styles its EVs for swapping, and has been willing to invest in a community of stations. It now has more than 200 stations in China, and is expanding to Norway.

At least 1 report has also suggested that battery swapping may possibly perform greater for taxis and ride hailing than personalized automobiles, as fleet use would make hardware standardization less complicated. Renault is launching a mobility-service venture beneath the Mobilize model, which will consist of a devoted EV, so possibly battery swapping could be included to that.

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