Replaceable batteries

  • Brucejohn's Avatar
    Why did the electric vehicle industry decide not to standardise batteries, such that, instead of charging the battery in the car, you’d just turn up in the car and have your discharged battery removed, and replaced with a fully charged battery? Always sounded like a good idea to me. Easily done, too, as you can put a battery anywhere in the vehicle and connect it with a little wire to the working parts. Nobody ever talks about this, so it would be good to get an expert response
  • 5 Replies

  • Santa's Avatar
    I am no expert, but it's not hard to see why it wouldn't work for cars (Though I might for trucks).

    In videos I have seen where electric cars are being assembled, the battery is an integral part of the floor of the car. It is not a separate part like an engine or the battery in your TV remote.

    There is controversy about the lack of relatively simple charging points. Can you imagine the infrastructure needed to have stocks of charged batteries and the equipment to exchange them?

    With heavy trucks, the design could accommodate swappable batteries and large operators could provide their own exchange facilities.
  • Rolebama's Avatar
    Renault advertised the service when they introduced their Z range. Whether it is up and running I don't know, but so many arguments were against the idea. Biggest was that people could not always get to a dealership during their opening hours and that not everyone had a local dealership. I don't remember what charges would apply, whether it was just a charging fee or was there a fitting fee as well?
  • Santa's Avatar
    It seems that Renault abandoned the idea some 10 years ago. I found this online:

    Renault has been making electric vehicles for a decade now and what’s cool about its first ever EV, the Fluence Z.E., is that it also featured battery swapping. It was co-developed with an Israeli company called Better Place, and even though it seemed like a great idea at the time, battery swapping was ultimately abandoned and Better Place filed for bankruptcy in 2013.
    Battery swapping has since been revived by companies such as China’s Nio and Geely, while other companies in the country are also analyzing whether or not it’s worth investing in it. And now a report suggests that Renault is looking to get back into battery swapping too,

    I still can't see the appeal. If I have to go to a dealer when my battery is flat - how is that better than charging at a supermarket or at home?

    Vans and trucks that operate from a depot are a different matter. Maybe taxis too. They could keep a supply of batteries charged and ready for use and have the equipment there to handle them.

    I was a warehouse manager with electric forklift trucks. I know that EV batteries are very different, but they are still very heavy and shorting them out can be pretty disastrous.
    Last edited by Santa; 22-06-23 at 11:59.
  • ozzy54's Avatar
    Ithink Standardizing batteries for swapping in electric vehicles (EVs) hasn't been widely adopted due to a few reasons.
    First, it would require significant investment in infrastructure for battery swap stations. Additionally, different EV manufacturers have invested in unique battery designs, limiting the feasibility of standardization. Battery sizes and shapes also vary among models, making it challenging to fit a standardized battery in all vehicles.

    The industry has focused on improving charging infrastructure and battery technology instead, making charging more convenient and efficient. While battery swapping has been explored in pilot projects, the current emphasis remains on charging advancements.
  • Rolebama's Avatar
    There is no real reason why batteries cannot be standardized, or anything else for that matter, but taken to the extreme, do we want to all end up driving the same vehicle? Vive la difference.