Chinese electric carmaker and tech company Nio has revealed a new ultra-fast charging station with 500kW maximum power at 650A current.

    The DC charger pile is billed as capable of charging a long-range (100kWh battery) EV pack from 10 to 80 per cent in only 20 minutes.

    A liquid-cooled charging cable cuts weight drastically, making it easier to use by hand. This super-fast charging pile will be open to other brands of EV, the company adds.

    Naturally, it needs to be a vehicle running on a 800V platform to get the maximum rate – examples beyond Nios being the Porsche Taycan, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6.

    The Nio tower’s maximum charging power tops that of rival Chinese brand Xpeng, which rolled out the S4 Supercharger in August 2022 with a 480kW ceiling (and a 670A maximum current).

    Not so long ago, a 350kW charger (such as those made by Australia’s Tritium) was the top level, and remains the top option for local DC public chargers.

    As well as its growing range of cars and its charger business, Nio is also famous in China (and starting in Europe too) for its battery swap stations.

    At the same time as the 500kW DC charger, it revealed the third-generation power swap station design, raising capacity to 408 swaps per day, a 30 per cent increase.

    The stations are highly automated for Nio products, using a summon-and-swap feature tapping into laser radars and two Nvidia OrinX chips.

    These stations allow Nio to sell battery-as-a-service (BaaS), meaning owners effectively lease battery access – meaning their car always runs up-to-date packs.

    While largely focused on China, Nio is currently branching into European markets with its burgeoning range comprising the ES6, ES7 and ES8 SUVs, EC6 and EC7 crossovers, and ET5 and ET7 sedans.

    MORE: Brand overview on Nio

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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