EV ‘gas stations?’ ZAP designs robot-controlled battery swapping for its EV SUV

ZAP Jonway 380 EV

There’s been a concept floating around out there in the motoring world for a while: if you could easily swap out the battery pack on your EV, the technology could become a lot more viable as the process could stand in place of a gasoline “fill up.”

With few exceptions, virtually no EV automakers have adopted this plan. That is, until now, according to a ZAP Jonway press release by way of Autoblog Green.

ZAP Jonway, a strangely-named Chinese EV company responsible for the 380 SUV, has designed a way for a robot to swap out the onboard battery pack in about six minutes. Despite what people seem to think, this is far less time than the time the average American spends at the pump each time they refill their gas tank.

Here’s the catch (you knew there had to be one): the robot battery replacement arms are only in China.

Though it’s a bit disappointing we Americans won’t be able to take advantage of this EV technology, it’s still promising. It means someone is working on it; they’re not giving up.

Imagine a new way to drive your EV. As you make your regular daily errands, your battery charge is slowly depleted. But let’s say you have to make an unforeseen long drive? Rather than having to return home to recharge your EV for eight hours, you could simply pop over to the battery swap “gas station” and have a robot fit your car with a fully recharged unit in less time than it takes to refill a standard gas tank. It’s brilliant.

We hope next generation EVs sold here in the U.S. will feature such an ingenious design. We can only hope.

What do you think? Is ZAP on to something? Is this the answer to the EV question? Leave a comment.