Driving factors and application scenarios of heavy truck battery swap

Table of Contents

As a commercial vehicle, heavy trucks have a long daily operating mileage and require almost 24 hours of continuous operation. At this time, compared with other commercial vehicles in the public domain, the electrification of heavy trucks gives priority to economy, and the promotion of new energy heavy trucks has become an inevitable road under the background of double carbon.

However, due to a series of problems such as long charging time, shrinking mileage in winter, and uneven distribution of charging piles, the mileage and charging problems of new energy heavy trucks are still relatively serious. Various car companies have successively deployed ev battery swapping business for trucks and launched battery swap models.

With its lower cost, higher efficiency, and safer user experience, the battery-swapping model has gradually become the mainstream choice. The battery-swapping heavy-duty truck is expected to further penetrate under the guidance of policies and economics.

In this article, we will mainly analyze the driving factors of battery replacement for heavy trucks and the application scenarios of battery replacement for heavy trucks, hoping to inspire everyone to understand the industry of battery replacement for heavy trucks.

Battery swapping model boost the electric heavy truck market

Complementary charging and swapping can meet the needs of different usage scenarios. The diverse use scenarios of new energy heavy trucks have brought differentiated energy supplement requirements. Charging and battery replacement complement each other and develop in parallel. It has become a development consensus to form a diversified energy replenishment system to provide the best energy replenishment experience for different usage scenarios.

The development of the battery swap mode has boosted the electrification of the heavy truck market.


1) The battery replacement mode quickly replenishes energy, which matches the need to solve the battery life anxiety of electric heavy trucks. Compared with charging, battery replacement takes only minutes, while charging takes hours.In closed scenarios, battery replacement can solve mileage anxiety. In special application scenarios such as ports, steel mills, power plants, mines, and road-rail combined transportation, battery replacement for heavy trucks is very popular.

2) The replacement of heavy trucks effectively reduces the purchase cost of customers through the “separation of vehicle and electricity”. Adopting the vehicle-electricity separation mode can greatly reduce the purchase cost. For users, only the vehicle body needs to be purchased. The use of heavy trucks through battery leasing and battery swap services has a greater cost advantage; for car companies, batteries can be leased from the battery swap station, which reduces the burden on traditional car companies.


Driving factors for heavy truck battery swap

National policy driven

Driven by national policies is the first element for the rapid development of battery replacement heavy trucks. In October 2021, in order to promote the rapid development of heavy truck battery swap, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology launched a pilot project for the application of new energy vehicle battery swap mode, and clearly included Yibin in Sichuan, Tangshan in Hebei, and Baotou in Inner Mongolia as pilot cities for heavy truck characteristics.

As of 2022, more than 20 provinces and cities in China have participated in the promotion of battery replacement for heavy trucks. After nearly two years of operation in various places, practical experience in the operation of battery replacement heavy trucks has been accumulated, which will help localities further increase their confidence in promoting battery replacement heavy trucks.

The local government has increased support for subsidy policies for new energy heavy trucks and power station replacement. In addition to the new energy vehicle purchase subsidies and purchase tax reduction and exemption policies at the national level, Sichuan, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Chongqing and other places have issued additional policies related to subsidies for replacing heavy trucks or replacing power stations for heavy trucks in 2022.

For example, Sichuan directly provides an additional purchase subsidy of 300 yuan per kilowatt-hour for heavy-duty trucks, and places such as Chongqing, Shandong, Inner Mongolia, Beijing, and Shanghai provide one-time construction subsidies for power-swapping stations that are put into operation. Guangdong and Guangxi have implemented subsidy support for power stations that have been built in the early stage.


A unified standard for battery replacement technology may be introduced in 2023. Facing the needs of users, local governments are speeding up the formulation of battery replacement standards for heavy-duty trucks. In 2022, Jiangsu Province will speed up the unification of battery replacement standards for heavy-duty trucks.

Organized by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers and undertaken by FAW Jiefang Automobile Co., Ltd., the group standard review meeting of the “Technical Specifications for the Construction of Electric Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Shared Swap Stations and Swap Vehicles” series passed a number of heavy-duty truck battery swap group standards.

Economy driven

The cost of replacing a heavy-duty truck with electricity is gradually approaching that of a heavy-duty diesel truck, which lowers the threshold for car purchase. Under the separation mode of vehicle and battery, the initial purchase cost of a heavy-duty truck with electricity is basically close to that of a traditional diesel heavy-duty truck, lowering the threshold for purchasing a car.

Take the current best-selling CAMC battery swapping heavy truck Valin M5 heavy truck composite version 6X4 battery swapping pure electric tractor as an example, the price of its diesel version is around 370,000 RMB. In the vehicle-electricity separation mode, the initial purchase cost of the battery-swappable pure electric version is 460,000 RMB. It is already quite close to the version of diesel vehicles, and it is expected that the price will further decrease with the technical progress of manufacturers in the future, which lowers the threshold for purchasing heavy trucks.

The cost savings in heavy truck battery swap mode is very obvious, and the cost in the whole life cycle is reduced by more than 10% compared with fuel vehicles. Compared with traditional diesel heavy trucks, in the case of high diesel prices, battery replacement heavy trucks have certain economic advantages in the whole life cycle cost. In battery swapping mode, it only takes 5 minutes to replenish energy consumption, which is a high-efficiency time period.


With the gradual improvement of supporting facilities such as battery swap stations, especially those from top 10 battery swapping station manufacturers in China, the promotion of battery swap heavy trucks will accelerate. By calculating and comparing the total cost of the 5-year life cycle of replacing heavy trucks and traditional heavy trucks in the vehicle-electricity separation mode,

Based on the battery price of 1.1RMB/wh and the diesel price of 7.0RMB/L, the energy costs per kilometer for heavy trucks and traditional fuel vehicles are 1.62 and 2.8RMB respectively, based on the 5-year life cycle of heavy trucks, the full life cycle costs of battery-swapped heavy-duty trucks and traditional heavy-duty trucks are 1.9442 million RMB and 2.293 million RMB respectively. The cost savings in battery-swapping mode is about 350,000 RMB, which is 15% lower than that of fuel-powered heavy-duty trucks.

In the future, as the cost of batteries decreases, the economy of battery replacement for heavy trucks will continue to exist and the trend will strengthen.

Application scenarios for heavy truck battery swap

At present, the main application scenarios of battery replacement heavy trucks are closed scenarios and short-term transportation, and the medium and long-distance logistics scenarios of trunk lines are expected to become the next development direction. Electric heavy trucks have the characteristics of high load rate and high energy consumption. It needs a lot of energy replenishment times and fast energy replenishment speed, so battery swapping can effectively solve the pain point of energy replenishment.

Closed scene

Closed scenarios mainly include ports, steel mills, coal mines, etc., which have the characteristics of not fixed operation areas but fixed routes, fixed-point, high-frequency, high-efficiency transportation requirements, an average daily transportation distance of 80 kilometers, and 24-hour continuous operation.

Compared with fuel heavy trucks, vehicles are often at idle or low speed, with low engine thermal efficiency, poor fuel economy, and high pollution levels. On the one hand, replacing heavy trucks with batteries can effectively reduce transportation costs. On the other hand, it can realize rapid energy supply, which is suitable for closed application scenarios of short height and fast speed.

Short inverted transportation scene

The short-distance transportation scenarios mainly include urban muck transportation, highway-rail connection transportation, short-distance transportation from coal mines to power plants, etc., which have the characteristics of fixed routes and short one-way distances.

In this scenario, depending on the transportation distance, heavy trucks can be transported back and forth 4-6 times a day, with a one-way mileage of about 100-150 kilometers. Using the heavy truck battery swap, one battery can be replaced every single trip or round trip to ensure transportation efficiency and realize the replacement of fuel heavy trucks.


Middle and long-distance transport scenarios on trunk lines

Heavy-duty trucks are the main force of highway transportation, so medium and long-distance transportation on highways and other trunk lines is one of the main application scenarios for battery replacement of heavy-duty trucks. In this scenario, the one-way transportation distance of heavy trucks is about 350 kilometers, and the average daily mileage can reach more than 800 kilometers, which requires high transportation efficiency.

The use of heavy truck battery swap can meet the requirements for transportation efficiency, and the swap station can be arranged in the same expressway service area as the gas station, with almost no need for new land planning, and it is easy to realize popularization and application.

Final thought:

With its lower cost, higher efficiency, and safer user experience, the battery swap model has gradually become the mainstream choice. Electric heavy truck battery swap is expected to further penetrate under the guidance of policies and economics.

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