• Products
  • Markets
  • IIoT & Solutions
  • Company
  • Resources
  • Supply Chain
  • my ifm
  1. Automotive Industry
  2. Emobility
  3. Battery swapping station

Battery swapping station for electric vehicles

Product application and selection guide

Safer, easier and smarter

With the rapid development of new energy technologies, more and more electric vehicles are appearing in our lives. Meanwhile, the issue of energy supply for New Energy Vehicles (all-electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles) is becoming more pressing.

All parties concerned pursue the goal of resolving the issue of energy replenishment for electric vehicles safely, easily and smartly. The battery swapping station is a good solution. Through the battery swapping technology, battery swapping can be completed for vehicles within five minutes, saving more time for customers. Thanks to the unified standard charging mode, the battery swapping station can also ensure a safer and more controllable charging process, and guarantee optimal battery performance.

As one of the leading manufacturers of electronic sensors in the field of industrial automation, ifm has been closely cooperating with major automobile manufacturers. To provide customers with high-quality products, we adhere to the principle of quality above all else, and provide a 5-year warranty for each catalogued product. We serve and always keep close contact with our customers in line with our slogan “ifm- close to you”!



Vehicle entrance & exit and safety detection

Common problems and technical difficulties

When the vehicle enters the battery swapping station, the bottom cover plate of the battery swapping station will open to start the battery loading and unloading process. At this point, if other personnel, animals, etc. enter the battery swapping station, or if the personnel in the vehicle opens the door and gets out, they will interfere with the battery swap process, and may cause foreign objects to enter the equipment and result in major accidents that cause harm to personal safety. In this case, it is particularly important to avoid the occurrence of these problems.


ifm solutions

OY series safety light curtain

  • Safety protection area up to 1.8 m
  • When personnel or other objects enter the battery swapping station, it can react quickly to ensure an uninterrupted battery swap process
  • The product meets safety categories 2 and 4 to IEC 61496
  • Can be used at different positions of the battery swapping station; multiple lengths and resolutions available
  • Small safety sensors can optionally be used for electrical equipment such as cabinet doors


G1502S safety relay

  • Can quickly suspend equipment operation to prevent potential hazards from occurring
  • Multiple optional operation methods guarantee maximum flexibility and convenient on-site operation
  • Self-monitoring functions and short-circuit protection

Wheel in-position detection and vehicle body positioning indication

Common problems and technical difficulties

When the vehicle stops completely, the sliding sheath will move the wheels to the corresponding position. At this point, it is particularly important to reliably detect the position of the wheels. In case of any deviation in the position of the wheels, forced movement may cause damage to the vehicle and can even damage the mechanical equipment in the battery swapping station.

Moreover, for different types of battery swapping stations, it is difficult to stably adjust the body position solely by relying on mechanical components when the vehicle is heavy and large. In this case, it is particularly crucial to provide reliable directional guidance to the driver.


ifm solutions

O6P7 series retro-reflective sensor

  • The spot size can reach millimetre level
  • In narrow spaces, it can be installed in positions where traditional red light photoelectric sensors cannot be used to reliably detect the presence of tires
  • Class 1 protection laser for easy installation and commissioning
  • IO-link function to provide distance information about the detected object in real time


O3R222 + OVP800, 2D/3D camera

  • Equipped with both 2D and 3D TOF cameras, this unit can identify licence plates or other vehicle information for archiving and recording, ensuring traceability of the battery swap process
  • The 3D camera can assist in calibrating mechanical structural deviations caused by differences in vehicle models to help vehicles park and locate the optimal battery operation position
  • Centimetre level positioning accuracy

Shuttle vehicle positioning and battery in-position identification

Common problems and technical difficulties

On rainy or snowy days, there may be mud and water on the bottom of the vehicle. One challenge of the battery swapping station is to ensure reliable sensor detection in such environments. At the same time, the ambient temperature in cold regions can reach -40°C, so sensor reliability is one of the key technical requirements. Moreover, batteries have a variety of different shell colours or materials, which require positioning through photoelectric products at specific locations.


ifm solutions

Inductive K=1 type sensor

  • For aluminium or other metal materials, there is no attenuation in the detection range
  • IP67/IP68/IP69K protection rating ensures reliable use of the product in harsh environments involving muddy water or rainwater
  • The operating temperature of the product is -40 °C to 85 °C, ensuring reliable use in different countries and regions
  • Reliable identification of batteries made of different materials


O6T/H series diffuse reflection sensor

  • The O6H3 series offers protection rating IP67/IP68/IP69K, which ensures sensor stability and reliability in harsh environments
  • With its compact housing design, the product can be used in space limited environments
  • Multiple optional measuring ranges to meet different requirements in the field

Battery positioning and measurement of battery cartridge

Common problems and technical difficulties

Batteries come in various designs and housings made of various materials in different colours (e.g. stainless steel or aluminium). If the inclination angle is large during the battery in-position detection, it is particularly important to stably detect the battery positioning. In addition, it is necessary to continuously update the shuttle vehicle position to control speed changes during the movement of the shuttle vehicle. Moreover, a stable and cost-effective solution is needed.


ifm solutions

OGD series laser distance sensor based on the PMD principle

  • Compact design and multiple installation methods
  • Stable output of battery position information, unaffected by incident angle or colour and stable monitoring of battery position
  • The sensor comes with a display and buttons for accurate switch point settings
  • Provided with IO-Link function to meet on-site application requirements
  • Multiple optional measuring ranges, stable and reliable


NT series inductive sensor

  • Safely detects the position of the shuttle vehicle
  • Protection rating IP67/IP68/IP69K ensures reliable long-term use in harsh environments
  • Multiple wiring methods with optional sizes to meet the installation needs of different positions
  • The operating temperature of the product is -40 °C to 85 °C, ensuring reliable use in different countries and regions

Monitoring of coolant condition and internal rainwater level

Common problems and technical difficulties

During battery charging, the power battery cooling system needs to be connected to the battery to cycle the internal coolant of the battery, ensuring that the power battery maintains a constant temperature during the charging process. When the coolant in the battery swapping station is found to be insufficient, it needs to be timely replenished. At the same time, the pressure of the coolant in the battery swapping station must be higher than the pressure of the coolant in the vehicle during battery cooling to prevent insufficient coolant due to frequent battery swapping.

The detection of internal water accumulation in the battery swapping station is also very important, so it needs to be checked whether the rainwater in the battery cartridge is completely discharged to prevent internal electrical short circuits and guarantee the safety and reliability of the battery in the battery swapping station.


ifm solutions

LT series level sensor

  • Reliably detects the coolant level; multiple optional lengths
  • Measures the coolant temperature while continuously measuring the liquid level, without additional temperature sensors installed
  • Saves space and installation costs


PN/PT series pressure sensor

  • Ensures timely feedback control of the coolant pressure condition through fast pressure response


SV series flow sensor

  • Reliably measures the flow of coolant


LI5 series flow sensor

  • Safely detects levels
  • Reliable function even in case of mud or other adhesions
  • Multiple lengths and optional installation accessories available
  • A bright indicator light clearly indicates the operating state of the sensor

Temperature and humidity monitoring/ power supply system in the cabinet

Common problems and technical difficulties

The battery swapping station is installed and used throughout the world, which also means that it may be used in various environments. To guarantee the stable operation of equipment and components in the electrical cabinet, temperature and humidity monitoring in the cabinet is particularly important.

At the same time, various sensors on site require a 24V power supply. Stable and reliable power supply and circuit protection components guarantee their normal operation.


ifm solutions

LDH series temperature and humidity sensor

  • Monitors the temperature and humidity in real time to guarantee optimal operating conditions and service of the equipment in the electrical cabinet
  • Easy to install with a screw or guide rail and M12; available for use immediately after installation
  • Analogue signals or IO-Link are used for data communication


DN series switched-mode power supply

  • Small in size to save installation space
  • High electric energy conversion efficiency, green and energy saving
  • Short circuit and overload protection ensure electrical safety


DF series electronic circuit breaker

  • Guarantees circuit safety more efficiently
  • Quickly switches off the circuit in case of short circuit
  • Also measures the current and voltage in each channel via IO-Link

On-site wiring and connection module

Common problems and technical difficulties

A variety of different sensor types are installed in the battery swapping station. If sensors and different signal input modules need to be connected to the electrical cabinet, this will result in complex wiring in the cabinet and extremely high maintenance costs at a later stage. Only part of the sensor information can be read even if a bus type wiring module is used. Reading and recording more sensor information if required by customers proves difficult.


ifm solutions

AL1 series IO-Link master module

  • Acquires more sensor information and unlocks the full potential of the sensor
  • The digital signal is used to guarantee on-site wiring convenience and read all sensor data
  • Protection rating IP65/IP66/IP67; direct use on site, simple wiring, saves space in the cabinet
  • Used with IO-link sensor to implement preventive maintenance and quantify equipment ageing
  • Provided with Y-path technology to directly send sensor parameters and data to the cloud for real-time remote management of the battery swapping station


AL2 series IO-Link slave module

  • 16-port DI/DO flexibly defined
  • Easy connection to various types of switching type sensors
  • Data and power supply transmitted through non-shielded connection cable
  • IP65/IP67 rated for external installation environments
  • The actuator is independently powered, which complies with electrical isolation specifications

Green future

Whether your corporate sustainability plan is ready to implement or you are just starting to build out an action plan, ifm understands that it starts with reliably measuring your data. The demand for sustainability initiatives continues to grow but sustainability can cover a variety of topics depending on your company industry, needs, and goals. The first step begins with understanding where you are today and establishing baseline measurements. ifm solutions can help you benchmark your goals, so you can easily capture results of any capital investments or changes in production processes. Our customers have partnered with ifm to increase efficiency of their machinery by measuring process data, identifying waste, and making changes. Together, we can help bring measurable results and actionable insights from the data currently trapped in your sensors.