Norway was the beachhead for the NIO entry invasion into the Old Continent. It is a small market but with the greatest facilities for the growth of a brand that only has electric cars. After Norway’s other markets were announced, this was already known. The ET7 will come first, and from 2023 the cheaper NIO ET5 will arrive. We have some more information this time.
Throughout this year the Chinese brand will be present in the markets of Germany, Holland, Sweden, and Denmark, both at the dealer level and “holistically”, that is, covering the range of needs of its customers. Within three years, NIO will have a presence in 25 countries and world regions, including Spain. It is logical that markets, where electromobility hits the hardest and the per capita income is higher, are prioritized.
NIO Founder/CEO William Li stated, “The year 2021 is full of challenges. With an optimistic attitude and outlook, NIO has grown alongside its customers. In 2022 we will continue to focus on product and technology development, accelerate the deployment of our service network, and enter new world markets. We are confident in the road ahead. “
There is one difference between the Norwegian market and the EU countries where NIO is going to be deployed, and that is that the ES8 SUV will only be offered there. For the EU markets, the commercial commitment is with sedans, first ET7 and then ET5, in addition to smaller SUVs. What they will have in common are the battery exchange stations. Norway saw the first open this year, the first outside of China. By the end of the year, they will have 20 stations. Over 90% of customers have purchased ES8s with batteries on a rental basis.
The next milestone, according to the plan, is to install them in Germany. Right now NIO could not make a large deployment of battery exchange stations efficiently, so yesterday it signed a collaboration agreement with the China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC).
This Chinese state-owned company can import/export entire factories and operates in 100 countries. With your help, NIO can speed up the deployment of the exchange stations mainly in Europe. At the moment NIO does not have a commercial presence in other continents outside of China. After Europe, the obvious objective is the United States, surely California in the first place, where they are already recruiting personnel.
As we explained in a previous article, the NIO battery exchange system is paid for using a monthly subscription, although the price of the car is lower since the batteries are not “yours”. It is possible to reduce the monthly fee by carrying fewer batteries, and on special occasions to be able to rent more capacity. Battery swaps allow an NIO to be “refueled” in less than 5 minutes. Logically, they also accept fast recharging. Shell will collaborate with NIO on this deployment.
By the time Spain becomes an NIO market, a certain deployment of the battery exchange network is assumed. This will allow NIO’s clientele -and for the moment, exclusively- to move around Europe with ease and convenience not far removed from that of Tesla, which is seeding a high-power recharging infrastructure -superchargers- that have changed the driving experience of long-distance with electric cars. In theory, an NIO exchange station can do more than 300 exchanges a day and they have ultra-fast chargers of 150 kW.
In short, NIO intends that its customers have the same facility to have an electric car as if it were a thermal car, although this can never be 100% achieved. By 2025, NIO will have 4,000 exchange stations in China and 1,000 abroad. A good part of them will be in Europe. In its home market, NIO is having a very good reception of its battery exchange service, which is at the rate of one million exchanges per quarter, and counting.