Chinese EV manufacturer Nio has installed its first battery swap station in Norway, the starting point for the company’s first expansion outside of China.
Several Twitter reports have highlighted the launch of Nio’s first battery swap station in Norway, which supports the Nio ES8 which was introduced in that country in September. and pointed to significant demand for Nio’s battery subscription offering.
Florian Otto, the director of communication at Nio Europe, revealed on Saturday the “first battery swap station in Europe” in Norway, with a battery swap station also to be launched in Germany soon.
NIO is ready! First Battery Swap Station in Europe. Just a few weeks. Game Changer for charging infrastructure. Norway first! Germany soon. Fully recharged within minutes. Here we are! pic.twitter.com/5QIMWn1Vyq
— Florian Otto (@flotto2508) November 12, 2021
Another user also showed the Nio battery swap station in operation, and added that Li Bin, the founder and CEO of Nio, had said that the overwhelming majority of Norwegian Nio customers had chosen to subscribe to the company’s Battery as a Service (BaaS) sales model.
NIO 's first battery swap station in Norway 🇳🇴 is currently being tested. Li Bin revealed that the proportion of Norwegian BaaS users is 92%.https://t.co/oMeIvIYwyL (16 sec) $NIO pic.twitter.com/aqh4FH74x5
— Chris (@Klp168) November 13, 2021
Nio’s BaaS model means that a customer pays less for the new car but signs up to a monthly subscription model that means they can simply swap batteries when their charge is nearing depletion.
However, in addition to the benefit of simply being able to swap out a depleted battery, Nio also claims that by splitting out a lower purchase price for the vehicle from the battery subscription, the company is nevertheless offering a lower running cost than a combustion engine equivalent.
Nio officially launched its flagship ES8 SUV in Norway back in September, with a starting price of NOK609,000 ($A95,500) with the 75kWh standard-range battery, and NOK 679,000 ($A106,500) with the 100kWh long-range battery, which boosts total range to 500-kilometres (WLTP).
By the end of 2022, Nio plans to have built 20 Power Swap stations across the country, covering Norway’s five largest cities and their main roads.
Beyond Norway, Nio recently revealed on an earnings call that it was planning to expand to at least five other European markets during 2022 – though which five were not revealed. However, given the comments by Florian Otto above, it would seem that Germany is one of those six European markets the company is aiming to be operating in by the end of 2022.
And Nio’s plans will be backed by the company’s growing popularity at home, recently being proclaimed China’s most valuable car brand just as the company updated its battery swap station rollout to include its second-generation model.
Specifically, according to the Hurun Report – which was established in the late-1990s by Rupert Hoogewerf, also known by his Chinese name, Hu Run – Nio was rated China’s most valuable car brand in late-October, overtaking BYD and ahead of Great Wall Motor.