China's Tesla Challenger NIO Inc. Plans to Have 4,000 EV Battery Swapping Stations Online by 2025
【Summary】Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO Inc. held its first “NIO Power Day” event in Shanghai on July 9, where the company shared its strategic plan to develop a comprehensive EV charging ecosystem for its electric vehicles. The initiative is called “NIO Power 2025” and it includes deploying 4,000 battery swapping stations globally by 2025.
Electric vehicle startup NIO Inc. held its first "NIO Power Day" event in Shanghai on July 9, where the company shared its strategic plan to develop a comprehensive EV charging ecosystem for its electric vehicles. The initiative is called "NIO Power 2025" and it includes deploying 4,000 battery swapping stations globally by 2025.
The battery swapping stations are part of a larger EV charging ecosystem being developed by NIO that also includes a mixture of conventional EV charging and Power Mobiles, which are NIO's mobile charging vans.
NIO's battery swapping stations are unique in the auto industry. Unlike other electric vehicles, the company's vehicle battery pack is designed for easy removal at one of its "NIO Power" battery swap stations. The battery swap process is completely automated and can be completed in about 10 minutes. It offers a faster alternative of plugging in and waiting for the battery to charge.
NIO said it has already built 301 battery swap stations, 204 Power Charger stations and 382 destination charging stations in China. It completed more than 2.9 million swaps along with 600,000 uses of its other various charging services.
In 2021, NIO has raised its target of having 500 battery swap stations to 700 installed by year's end. From 2022 to 2025, NIO plans to install 600 new battery swap stations across China.
By the end of 2025, NIO said it will have over 4,000 NIO battery swap stations worldwide with roughly 1,000 located outside of NIO's home market of China.
NIO refers to residences within a 3 km radius from one of its battery swap stations as a "Swap Station District House". The automaker said about 29% of NIO customers live in a swap station district. By 2025, NIO said that 90% of its customers will live less than 3 kilometers away from a NIO battery swap station.
The NIO ES8.
Last month NIO announced it received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EWVTA) to sell its fully-electric flagship ES8 SUV in Europe, paving the way for the company's expansion outside of China.
The EWVTA certification marks the first steps for NIO's entry into Norway and the European market at large. On July 7, NIO announced that the first shipments of its Power Swap stations and Power Chargers were shipped to Norway.
NIO, which is often referred to as the "Tesla of China", unveiled its the battery-powered ES8 SUV in 2017, but has never sold the electric SUV outside of China. The company followed up the ES8 with the smaller ES6 SUV in 2019. NIO's third EV is a sedan named the ET7. Deliveries of the ET7 are set to begin in the first quarter of 2022.
In Aug 2020, NIO launched a Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) monthly subscription plan. The service allows owners to pay a monthly fee for the battery that's separate from the vehicle's purchase price. The BaaS plan is designed to lower the upfront purchase price of the vehicle so its more affordable.
The subscription service helps to offset the cost of the battery pack, which is the most expensive component of any electric vehicle and adds thousands of dollars to the sticker price.
NIO was founded in 2014 by Chinese entrepreneur William Bin Li, who serves as the company's CEO. Last year, Forbes estimated Li's net worth to be US$8.1 billion. Mr Li is often referred to as China's Elon Musk.
In Sept 2018, NIO made headlines when it became the first Chinese electric automaker to go public in the U.S. in order to take advantage of strong investor interest in EV stocks. The company raised $1 billion in its U.S. IPO on Sept 12, 2018.
The automaker's market cap is now roughly $74 billion, making the EV startup nearly as valuable as U.S. automaker General Motors.
Shares of NIO trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NIO".
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