CATL Founder: Battery Swapping to Allow Purchases of Just Car Body
Robin Zeng, the founder and Chairman of Chinese battery giant CATL, delivered a speech on August 28 at the 2022 World New Energy Vehicle Conference, mainly expressing his ideas on the development of battery technology and carbon reduction of power batteries. He also issued a bold prediction on battery swap technology, saying that CATL can use it to enable users to buy vehicles only for their bodies, and that the sharing and leasing of batteries can save them a great deal.
Robin Zeng said that the penetration rate of new energy passenger cars in China has been around 25% for five consecutive months this year, reaching 26.7% in July, while this rate last year was less than 15%. This shows that the development of new energy vehicles is accelerating, and that comprehensive electrification will be an irresistible trend in the automobile industry.
In this context, advanced power battery technology has offered key support for the development of the industry. In terms of its products, CATL introduced the Kirin battery for high-end electric vehicles.
In the field of battery swapping, CATL launched the brand EVOGO in the first half of this year, which enables consumers to rent batteries on demand. This service has been introduced in Xiamen and Hefei in China. Zeng believes that based on this battery swap mode, assuming that the original price of a pure electric vehicle is 120,000-140,000, consumers can buy a car body for only 60,000-80,000 with the separation of vehicle and battery. They can then choose a variety of battery rental and battery swap service plans, according to the actual use demand.
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For family use cars, the cost of battery rentals and swaps can help save a lot of expenses every month compared with the costs of fuel-powered cars. For online car-hailing, electric cars with “Choco-SEB” block pack (mass production batteries specially launched by EVOGO for shared battery swapping) saves battery charging time for operation, and the driver on average can increase income by more than 1,000 yuan ($145) per month.
Zeng also said that in the era of comprehensive electrification, it is particularly important to reduce the carbon impact of power batteries themselves. He said that many western countries have introduced relevant laws to promote the carbon management of power batteries, while China, as a major battery producer, has obviously lagged behind. Therefore, it is extremely urgent to promote the establishment of China’s power battery carbon emission calculation standards and databases. In addition, it should give full play to China’s advantages in the power battery supply chain, promoting the docking and mutual recognition of international standards and databases in this field.