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SGMW launches mini-sized battery swapping station, unveils Wuling-branded chip

Monika From Gasgoo| September 16 , 2021 14:53 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), General Motors' joint venture with partners SAIC Motor and Guangxi Automobile Group, launched its in-house developed smart mini-sized battery swapping station on Sept. 15 at the 2021 World New Energy Vehicle Congress (WNEVC).

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SGMW's mini battery swapping station; photo credit: SGMW

According to the automaker, the newly-launched station covers an area equivalent to two parking spots for the “Xiao E” (nickname of the Baojun E100) and can move flexibly. Thanks to visual recognition and laser positioning technologies, an AGV (automatic guided vehicle) is able to accurately carry a battery pack between the battery storage and the space underneath the vehicle, and swap the vehicle’s battery pack with a fully-charged one. During the whole process, the vehicle does not need to park precisely as the conventional battery swapping stations require.

Using the new battery swapping facility, the time of one battery swap is comparable to that of a fuel tank being filled up. Besides, the operation cost can be significantly decreased by flexibly disposing battery slots and using multiple technologies like V2X (vehicle-to-everything) and V2G (vehicle-to-gird).

In October 2020, the mini-sized battery swapping stations were put into operation for the self-driving logistics vehicles at SGMW Baojun manufacturing base, and have so far completed over 2,000 battery swaps.

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Wuling MCU; photo credit: SGMW

At the 2021 WNEVC, SGMW unveiled the Wuling-branded chip and also said it will develop an open platform for the testing, validation, and application of China-made auto chips. During the 14th five-year plan period, the automaker aims to make over 90% chips used in its GSEV (global small electric vehicle) platform-based models locally sourced.

The automaker revealed that it has been developing its own auto computing chips since 2018. Meanwhile, it is boosting cooperation with component suppliers to improve quality and economy of its chips.

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