News of tie-up comes as Kaluza announces EV charging technology deal with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation

Chinese electric vehicle company Nio and energy giant Shell have inked a deal which will see the partners work together on developing a network of ‘battery swap stations’ in China and Europe.

The partners are aiming to install 100 battery swapping stations in China by 2025 and construct and operate pilot stations in Europe by 2022.

Under the terms of the agreement, the partners will work together on research and development and battery swapping technologies. Nio users will also be granted access to Shell’s existing charging stations across Europe.

Nio CEO William Li said the partnership would “bring better services and experience to electric vehicle users worldwide”.

His comments were echoed by Istvan Kapitany, global executive vice president of Shell Mobility, who said the partners would be working to improve “every aspect of the EV experience”.

“This means we’ll offer Shell Recharge high-speed charging at NIO locations and make battery swap available at convenient Shell locations while also offering NIO customers our best home and business charging solutions,” Kapitany added.

Several companies have in the past sought to tackle the challenge presented by lengthy EV charging times by developing battery swap stations, but have struggled to deliver infrastructure at the scale required to make the approach a viable model for motorists. However, Nio is betting that the technology could yet break through in selected markets and has now secured a major vote of confidence in the approach from one of Europe’s largest EV charging infrastructure providers.

The tie-up was announced as Kaluza, Ovo Group’s smart energy platform, announced it has struck a deal with Japanese holding company Mitsubishi Corporation to develop a “suite of products and services” that enable energy utilities and auto manufacturers to reward customers for switching to electric vehicles.

The partners said they aimed to create a “new, commercial ecosystem for smart, low carbon EV solutions”, which would see Kaluza’s technology applied to EV leasing and financing, insurance, energy, public charging access, and smart charging sectors in Japan.

“With a distinguished track record in mobility and technology innovation, Japan is perfectly placed to turn electric vehicles into a giant distributed battery for the electricity grid,” said Scott Neuman, Kaluza CEO. “Through Kaluza, this partnership will actively reward the nation’s EV drivers for their role in shaping a smarter, greener and more resilient energy system.”

Kaluza’s technology leverages AI and real-time data to intelligently shift car charging to times when demand is low, and energy is at its cheapest and greenest. To date, Kaluza has signed partnerships with AGL Energy, Australia’s largest energy retailer, as well as a number of mobility companies in Europe, including Stellantic.

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