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C.C. Chan: Battery swapping should find a niche market

Battery swapping will not be a dominating application in electric vehicle sector, but it will have a small niche market, according to Professor C.C. Chan.

“Shanghai E-bus has mastered useful technology in battery swapping after years of development, and their challenge is to find the niche market, which may not be very big,” said Chan.

China’s Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2012-2020) which was released in July 2012 has detailed the blueprint of building charging facilities and developing key technologies thereof. Little is mentioned about battery swapping.

“The draft of the Plan used to encourage EV charging method supplemented by battery swapping. But the final version left out this content and barely touched on battery swapping, which is supposed to be an experimental option in the future development,” said NEV researcher Wang Binggang, who added that battery swapping has actually been marginalized.

According to Yang Ye, president of Shanghai E-Bus New Energy Technology Co., the company has developed new generation of integrated battery storage system which features removable battery cabins and can greatly reduce land occupation. The system has been exported to Poland.

Professor Chan suggests the company should try to work with local governments which are more open-minded in experimenting and promoting battery swapping system mostly for electric buses.

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