Why buy an EV without the battery?

Darcy Hitchcock

Nio makes electric vehicles in China. There, you have the option of buying the car but not the battery, which represents a large segment of the cost. Instead, Chinese owners can pay a subscription fee which allows them to swap out batteries when they run low.

Instead of paying for the battery in the cost of the vehicle, customers can pay for a monthly subscription to a service, roughly comparable to the cost of buying gas for an old-fashioned car. Whenever someone needs more power, they back the car into one of the company’s garages, and a machine automatically installs a freshly-charged battery. “Your depleted battery is popped out, and a refreshed, fully charged battery is popped in within three minutes,” she says. “And then you can just drive off. You don’t have to worry about sitting around waiting for your car to charge up.”


The Nio can be…

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