Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, NIO, has outlined plans to build more than 4 000 battery swap stations worldwide by the end of 2025, 1 000 of which will be outside of mainland China. The Shanghai-based EV unicorn made the announcement at its Power Day, which the company held on the 9th of July 2021.
NIO has bet big on ‘battery as a service’ (BaaS) subscription as a cost-effective alternative to pricey batteries, a sticking point for some potential consumers.
It says BaaS will allow customers to keep up with quickly developing battery technology while not breaking the bank. It will also mean drivers can avoid any charging delays by simply switching out depleted units for charged batteries at dedicated stations.
Figures released by NIO at Power Day confirm 301 bio power swap stations, 204 power charger stations and 382 destination charging stations across China. It said it has completed more than 2.9 million battery swaps to date.
The firm’s on-call valet charging service, Click-for-Power, has been used more than 600 000 times already.
Outside of China, NIO has announced intentions of expanding its BaaS program to Europe. In May, the firm said it would expand onto the continent in September, the same month its ES8, an all-electric, 7-seater SUV, is launched. Notably, NIO said it would open the BaaS charging and swapping systems to all EV manufacturers.
Power Sunday coincided with the news that EV sales in China are expected to double next year, according to Deutsche Bank analysts.
Using data released by China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers, analysts said that EV sales from China’s ‘Fab Four’ (NIO, Xpeng, Li Auto and WM Motor Co.) make up between 14–15% of the nation’s total sales mix for June.
A combination of a strong first half of the year and the introduction of several “compelling” models, meant that the forecast for 2022 would be significant, with the possibility that EV sales could increase by 100%. This would be the equivalent of boosting the EV sales mix by as much as 10% over the course of a year.
The analysts from Deutsche Bank also lauded NIO’s BaaS efforts saying that initiatives like Power Day would significantly increase EV adoption and said that NIO was “quickly growing and improving its infrastructure”.