China’s Nio EV startup opens Swedish power-swap station

Nio, a firm that makes electric vehicles, is rapidly expanding across Europe. The high-end EV manufacturer announced the opening of its first power swap station on LinkedIn. The facility is located in Varberg, Sweden.

Nio EV startup opens Swedish power-swap station

Photo Credit: Nio swapping station

Nio is distinct from its competitors in the charging space since it goes beyond the standard plug-and-charge setup by providing swappable, upgradeable batteries for a subscription fee. Nio’s battery-swapping systems are becoming increasingly commonplace in its home market of China, where they are installed in and around hip shopping centers and high-rise office buildings. So far (6th of November), the company has installed 1,200 of these exchange stations all around China. The goal is to make charging an electric vehicle as quick as filling up a gas automobile.

On its results call in November, the company announced plans to deploy 100 power-swapping stations across Europe by the end of 2022. Currently, there are just 20.

Nio’s expansion in Europe began in Norway, a country that has been actively promoting EV use, last year. Competitor Xpeng, also based in China, has chosen Norway as its European launchpad.

Nio has a tough struggle in the oversaturated European vehicle industry, but the company appears intent to expand its operations there. Nio, led by the charismatic English speaker and serial entrepreneur William Li, debuted in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden with a big event in Berlin.

Initially, the company only offered leases for its models across Europe (with the exception of Norway), but after hearing feedback from the market, they quickly added the option for clients to buy the vehicles.

On the results call, CEO Li announced the company was expanding its presence in Europe by opening a research and development facility in Berlin to focus on “localized development and deployment of digital cockpits and to continually improve the intelligent digital experience of local users.” Essentially product showrooms and client clubs, the automaker’s “Nio Houses” are now active in ten of Europe’s most important metropolises.

Nio has lately started producing items, including its power-swapping facilities, out of Hungary and transported the first swapping station produced in Hungary to Germany in September, potentially in an effort to diversify supply chains away from China.

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