NIO aspires to conquer Europe with its electric cars and this is its formula to do so

The Chinese electric car manufacturer NIO continues with its intention to establish itself as a major player in Europe. To do this, he has broken down the main lines of your strategy in the Old Continent that will help you establish a strong presence in one of the most important automobile markets in the world. The installation of a consolidated and functional network of battery exchange and the establishment of a program that offers affordable and practical options for the battery rental they are the basis of their European conquest.

Battery exchange systems have always been rejected by European and American manufacturers and consumers, who have opted to purchase the battery and pay for associated recharging services. However, it contributes a number of advantages. The first is that, despite the recharging powers that are being achieved with 800-volt systems, the exchange of batteries continues to be faster and recovers more autonomy, because the batteries are installed with a higher percentage of charge. Another advantage provided by this system is the car purchase price reduction, which does not include the battery. Finally, it adds the possibility that the user has the option of to update the battery you use. The system manager will renew the batteries it exchanges at the same rate as technology advances. New chemicals, new architectures, new materials, all of this will allow the user of an electric car to always have the best batteries at their disposal.

Faced with this reality, the president and co-founder of Nio, Qin Lihongrevealed his intention to establish 1,000 battery exchange stations outside of China by 2025most of them located in the european territory. To support this project, the company opened its first plant in Hungary where it manufactures “various energy products,” including its battery swapping stations. “We are far ahead of our competitors in terms of products and services,” Qin told Reuters in an interview.

NIO European strategy electric cars exchange rental-interior batteries
The NIO ET7 embarking in a Chinese port destined for Europe. Weibo/NIO source.

The company thus bets on a strategy that gives it an advantage over its competitors with lower initial costs of ownership by separating the battery from the property. In China, NIO has established a company with CATL to facilitate battery rental and charge a subscription fee to its customers. Qin claims that NIO is looking for replicate this strategy in Europe to finance battery ownership for its leasing program.

In this way, it tries to mitigate the biggest drawback of this system, which is very expensive to implement. Furthermore, it transfers the costs and risks to the company, not to the individual owners. It also reduces the effects of incompatibility with other brandsdespite their efforts to standardize their system by selling it to other manufacturers.

The company’s European strategy has started in the Norwegian market, where NIO has sold approximately 800 examples of the ES8 electric SUV and has installed two exchange stations during the last year. Qin says it has been this local launch that has given NIO confidence that the ES8 is “completely ahead of alternatives from the larger European automakers.” Its European expansion will continue this year and will include the launch of two sedans, the ET5 and the ET7.

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