German BEV maker e.GO Mobile launches battery-swap service

09 November 2021

German battery-electric vehicle (BEV) manufacturer e.GO Mobile has launched a new battery-swap service that allows consumers to replace nearly-drained batteries with fully-charged ones. The startup said it is one of a few companies offering this kind of service.

Battery swapping is not a new idea, allowing drivers to quickly exchange a depleted battery at a designated battery-swapping station. China-based Nio is one of the companies that already gives drivers the option to replace batteries, with the carmaker soon planning to open battery-swapping stations in Norway as part of its European expansion. Renault is also said to be considering embracing this technology as it would significantly cut waiting times at charging stations.

Comfort and peace of mind

As an independent carmaker, e.GO Mobile sees battery swapping as a way to further appeal to customers.

‘At e.GO, we do not consider the battery swap just as a smart feature or another business stream,’ said Ali Vezvaei, chairman of the board at Next.e.GO Mobile.

‘Leveraging technology and innovation, this is our way of showing utmost gratitude to our customers and e.GO users, who chose to act responsibly, care for the ecological footprint of the BEVs and help drive sustainable urban mobility. It is our responsibility to provide them with comfort,’ he added.

The BEV maker said the service is intended to provide e.GO drivers with peace of mind ‘in the occasional or unplanned need to drive a longer distance.’ As part of its mission to push for lifecycle sustainability in urban mobility, the company offers battery swapping free of charge.

The startup, founded in 2015, promises rapid service, with the swap procedure expected to take 60 minutes – faster than using a conventional public-charging station. In the future, e.GO Mobile aims to cut this down to 30 minutes.

The first battery-swap stations, dubbed the ‘e.Pit’, are fully operational at two locations in the German towns of Aachen and Zülpich. More are in the pipeline, with e.GO Mobile planning to open battery-swap stations in the metropolitan hubs of Düsseldorf and Hamburg.

Once drivers have made the exchange, they can pick up their original battery – fully charged – at the same station. e.GO Mobile gives customers the option to do so within the space of a month, emphasising that drivers will remain the owner of the original battery and can stay connected via the e.GO app, which uses a unique battery ID.

Battery-swapping as a service

Battery swapping as a service has been explored by other electric-vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla, which later abandoned the idea. However, it might see a revival, especially as Nio is offering this service successfully in China and aims to increase the amount of stations to 4,000 globally in 2025.

e.GO Mobile is now exploring this service in Europe. The German BEV maker is known as the producer of the small city car e.GO Life Next, which it launched earlier this year. The business avoided insolvency in 2020 as the pandemic hit operations. It has since recovered, successfully closing a series B equity-funding round of more than €30 million in February 2021 that helped boost German production.  

The company is looking beyond Germany and recently reached an agreement to enter the Mexican market in cooperation with Grupo Quimmco. Internationalisation is a key point on the agenda as the startup also plans to open a micro-factory in Bulgaria.