Nio has just inaugurated its 500 kW charging stations, which have become the most powerful in Europe ahead of Fastned and Circontrol. These make it possible to charge an electric car in just 12 minutes, under certain conditions.
Who said charging your electric car was difficult? If autonomy is still a barrier for many motorists, this should soon no longer be the case, with the development of innovative and faster charging solutions. One thinks for example of the CATL batteries which charge in 10 minutes but also of the exchange stations designed by Nio and of which the first of the new generation was installed in Sweden for a “recharge” in three minutes.
But the firm, which wants to develop in Europe and which recently received funding from Brussels in this direction, wants to go even further. Thus, in July 2022, it unveiled a new ultra-fast terminal, capable of delivering a maximum power of 500 kW. The latter began their deployment in China last April in certain cities such as Shanghai, Beijing or Zhengzhou.
But the manufacturer, which is still behind BYD in terms of sales, also wants these stations to arrive in Europe. And it’s finally done, as he announces on his page Weibo. The latter indeed explains that he installed its very first ultra-powerful charging station on the Old Continent, and more specifically in Stockholm, Sweden. A first step for the brand.
This new socket therefore becomes the most efficient in Europe, dethroning the 400 kW of Fastned and Circontrol. It also exceeds that of 480 kW designed by Xpeng to power its G6 SUV. And it goes without saying that it puts a huge beating on our operators present in France, facing the 250 kW of Tesla, and even the 360 kW of Lidl. For the record, the supermarket chain offers the most powerful load in the country Currently.
This new terminal designed by Nio is able to deliver up to 660A as recalled by the Chinese site CNEVPost. As a result, electric cars can theoretically be charged from 10 to 80% in just 12 minutes. But be careful, because this remains on the condition that they are equipped with an 800 volt architecture.
An expanding network
This is particularly the case with the Porsche Taycan and other Kia EV6 with a recharge in 18 minutes in the best case. For vehicles that are satisfied with a 400 volt systemlike most models on the market, it will take less than half an hour, which is still very fast.
Nevertheless, it is still necessary to find a car capable of cashing such great power. For now, none exceeds 350 kW in Europe, with the Lucid Air. The new Xpeng G9 promises a recharge in 15 minutes from 10 to 80% with a power of 480 kW. But it is not yet available in Europe.
Currently, the Chinese manufacturer Nio owns 1,584 charging stations in China, but only about fifteen deliver 500 kW. In Europe, Nio has already installed 10 stations, but again, there is only one of the latest generation. At the same time, it is also developing its network of battery exchange stations, 25 in number on the Old Continent.
The 3rd generation, which can realize up to 408 operations in one day is currently being rolled out in Europe as well. The latter has the particularity of being equipped with bidirectional charging. The batteries that are not used are used to power the fast terminals. This makes it possible not to depend too much on the electricity network and to vary the prices less.
These stations are able to replace an empty battery in less than three minutes and are equipped with LiDAR sensors allowing the car to enter them on its own. The maneuver is then fully automated. It remains to be seen when this technology will finally arrive in France!