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Battery Swapping E-bikes Gaining Popularity in China’s Food Delivery Sector

Battery swapping is gaining popularity in China’s electric bicycle delivery service sector thanks to its convenience and low initial investment. While battery charging requires 6-8 hours to fully recharge a battery, battery swapping reduces this time to mere seconds. In addition, battery charging makes it necessary for delivery drivers to purchase extra batteries in order to be able to work while the original batteries are being charged, creating a financial burden for drivers. In case of battery swapping, there is no need for buying extra batteries. For these reasons, delivery drivers increasingly switch to battery swapping from charging. Looking at one of the battery swapping service providers, China Tower, the company doubled its user base, nearly all of them delivery drivers, to 612,000 in 2021 compared to the previous year.

China: Comparison of Battery Charging and Swapping of Electric Bicycles
Intended for Food Delivery Services

Type Initial Purchase Cost Convenience Required Time Cost Notes
First Year Following Years
Charging High Inferior 6-8 hours Approx. 2,600 CNY Approx. 1,000 CNY ・The initial cost consists of the electric bike and two batteries. If the electric bike is used for delivery, it is necessary to purchase spare batteries also to save charging time. One battery costs about 1,600 CNY. ・The running cost for the first year is the purchase cost and charging cost of additional batteries. ・Average daily mileage is 120km. One kWh per charge costs around 1 CNY. Charging three times a day costs around 1,000 CNY a year.
Swapping Low Excellent 3-15 seconds 3,600 CNY 3,600 CNY ・The initial cost consists of the electric bike only. ・The average subscription price is 299 CNY per month with no limit on the number of swappings.
(Created using various media sources)
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