A year ago Tesla dismissed the alternative path of electric car battery swapping as "riddled with problems and not suitable for widescale use." It seems Beijing disagrees.

In fact, China is pushing hard for swappable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) as a supplement to regular vehicle charging, with the government throwing its weight behind several companies advancing the technology.

Four companies — automakers Nio and Geely, battery-swap developer Aulton and state-owned oil producer Sinopec — say they plan to establish a total of 24,000 swap stations across the country by 2025, up from about 1,400 today.