Tesla was rumored to be going back into the battery swap business, this time in China, but the automaker is now denying the report and took a jab at NIO in the process.
In 2014, Tesla demonstrated the ability to quickly and automatically swap battery packs in Model S and Model X vehicles.
The technology was touted as a faster way to get a fully charged battery pack and an alternative to DC fast charging.
The automaker ended up building a single battery swap station and offered owners battery swaps for a limited time before shutting down the facility.
The short-lived move was believed to be aimed at securing more subsidies that battery swapping could enable in the California ZEV program.
Tesla was believed to be looking to do the same in China after reports came out that its Chinese entity registered a new business [via CNEVPOST]:
Tesla China’s business registration recently added “sales of battery swap facilities for new energy vehicles,” according to data provider Tianyancha, sparking speculation that it may support battery swap like NIO.
The move was believable considering Tesla’s previous venture in battery swapping, and the fact that the practice is also resulting in higher subsidies in China.
But a Tesla official in the country confirmed that the automaker is not looking to get into battery swapping without explaining the reason behind the new business registration.
Apparently, Tesla even claimed that the battery swap is “riddled with problems” [via Shine]:
A Tesla official said the company believes electric vehicle charging is the best way to power its vehicles, and that battery swapping is riddled with problems and not suitable for widescale use.
The comment is a jab at NIO, one of Tesla’s main competitors in China and a company that has made battery swapping a cornerstone of its customer offering.
NIO launched its own battery-swapping scheme with its first electric vehicles in 2018.
The company has been quite successful with the feature and reached 500,000 battery swaps last year.
They already operate over 200 battery swap stations around China and plan to have 500 stations by the end of the year.
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