Charging infrastructure specialist Mer and Chinese EV manufacturer Nio have joined forces to develop more than 15 sites in Germany and Austria by 2025 that feature Mer’s charging stations and Nio’s battery swap stations.
Mer says the companies already began planning the first joint location near Bielefeld, Germany.
The other sites are “strategically located and will combine Mer’s extensive range of charging solutions for EV drivers with Nio’s unique, fully automated Power Swap Stations (PSS)”.
The current generation PSS is roughly the size of a double garage and is designed to handle up to 312 swaps per day. However, that is more of a theoretical value, as the station can only carry out one change at a time – for 312 changes in 24 hours, a new vehicle would have to enter the station every 4.5 minutes.
A PSS can store up to 13 batteries. These are recharged at the station with 40 to 80 kW, which is gentle on the grid and the batteries. In case of high demand, up to five batteries can be charged simultaneously with 80 kW.
With the current change volume, the batteries can be charged at a slower rate, further reducing peak loads on the power grid.
Size of Mer’s charging parks unknown
While there is information about the size and capacity of Nio’s stations, there is none about how many chargers Mer will set up. The announcement only says that the company wants to give EV drivers more flexibility and choice by setting up “joint premium locations”.
There is no information about how many charging stations will be built and how much kW they will offer.
In the future, the partnership between the two companies will also focus on cooperation to support fleets, so Nio drivers can use Mer’s fleet services.
There are currently two Nio PSS in operation in Germany: one in Hilden near Düsseldorf and the other in Zusmarshausen near Augsburg. A third station in Berlin is about to open its doors.
According to Nio, it will start construction at four more locations in Ulm, Waldlaubersheim, Großburgwedel, and Regensburg.
Nio and Mer signed similar memorandums of understanding in Sweden, Norway and the UK.
For Germany, Nio also partnered with EnBW to build battery exchange stations at up to 20 EnBW locations in Germany – one at the recently opened EnBW charging park in Großburgwedel.
Nio concluded another Europe-wide cooperation with Shell in November 2021. As part of this agreement, the first Nio PSS at a European Shell location just launched operations in Harmelen in the Netherlands.
This marks the 16th Nio battery exchange station to go into operation in Europe to date.