Nio ES8 Norway launch this year, ET7 to follow in 2022 [Update]

The much-awaited Nio Norway launch has been finally announced, as the Chinese automaker prepares for its entry into Europe, its first export market. The company announced that the Nio ES8 will be the first product for Norway, with a launch scheduled this year, followed by the ET7 in 2022.

Nio confirmed it will set up its own sales and service network in Norway with the first Nio House set to open on Karl Johans Gate, Oslo, in the third quarter of this year. Next year, it will open four centers in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Kristansand. The first service and delivery center will open in Oslo in September this year which will expand nationwide from 2022. The first batch of customer deliveries of the ES8 will also commence in September.

Source: Youtube/Nio

Nio swap stations & chargers in Norway

Nio’s battery charging and swapping system will be available in Europe, and by the end of 2022, it will connect Norway with five major highways and cities.

By the end of 2021, our aim is to build four swap stations in and around the Oslo region to provide users in the Oslo region with an experience where you worry as little as possible about the range. With the swap stations, you can easily travel to your cabin on the weekends without charging. During 2022, our plan is to bring swap station to Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Kristiansand. But let me assure you that Nio Power swap stations will also be placed on other locations in Norway.

Marius Hayler, General Manager Norway, Nio
Nio Norway launch release plan
Nio Norway launch plan. Image: Nio

Nio Norway customers will be able to benefit from not only the company’s own charging stations but also Plugsurfing charging stations. “We will have a cooperation with Plugsurfing to provide our users with European-wide charging capability through more than 20,000 charging points,” said Marius Hayler, General Manager Norway, Nio.

Nio Power Norway aims to become operational around September this year, the same time when customer deliveries are scheduled to commence.

Nio car service stations

The Nio Service Centers in Norway will also aim to deliver a premium experience after-sale experience to customers. A service and delivery center with a 1,800 square-meter floor space will be opened in the national capital in September. The company has already built up its own professional service team that can provide Nio customers a premium service experience. Nio Service will provide a pickup and delivery service and also a mobile service for the ultimate convenience when it comes to maintenance and repairs.

In 2021, our plan is to cover five main cities through our own Nio Service Center and authorized service centers, and in 2022, our network will expand to more cities across Norway.

Marius Hayler, General Manager Norway, Nio

In other news, the Nio ES8 has passed the EU’s verification process and are now waiting to be shipped, suggests a report from Global Times. In the third quarter (July-September), Nio will set up a local management team to handle operations in the Old Continent.

Qin Linhong, Director and President, Nio, told the Chinese publication at Auto Shanghai 2021 that the company has begun establishing an after-sale service center and a data center in Europe. In addition to cars, Nio will export its battery swap stations to Europe, and the transport of the first units will begin soon. Qin also revealed that Nio cars will cost higher than Audi cars in Europe.

Qin indicated that a Nio US launch may happen in the mid-to-long-term future. “US car verification standards are different from those of Europe or China, so we need to redevelop our car models to enter the US, which we have no energy to do now as a start-up, but we will do it later,” Qin said.

Nio showroom at Karl Johans gate

The much anticipated Nio Norway launch, which will mark the brand’s entry into Europe, will take place in September, Hayler had told Bilbransje24 last month. The first Nio Norway showroom will be located at Karl Johans gate 33 A in Oslo, just a few blocks from the Polestar Oslo showroom.

The Nio Norway showroom will have two floors and four vehicles on display. On the ground floor would be a Nio model parked facing the Karl Johans gate. The three Nio models on the first floor will face the Rosenkrantz gate. The entrance of the showroom will be on the corner of the two streets. The local publication’s source says that Nio will soon spread to a dozen locations across the country.

Meanwhile, a new development at Nio in China is a high customer preference for alternative vehicle ownership modes. In the company’s only current market, 55% of new Nio EV orders till February 2021 were specified as BaaS, as per a report on cnevpost.com. On March 24, the company announced on WeChat that Nio customers had done more than 2 million battery swaps.

Earlier this year, William Bin Li, Chairman & CEO of Nio, said at an online conference that the company plans to begin European commercial operations in the second half of this year and then other international markets next year, as per a report from yiche.com. Bin Li didn’t reveal where it was going first, but there’s a strong indication that Norway is a priority. Other markets where the company plans to export cars remain unknown at the moment.

Nio Norway launch hinted during the ET7’s reveal

Nio ET7 - a potential Nio Norway operations model
Nio has its eyes on the Europe, Norway particularly, where there is a high demand for electric crossovers. Image: Nio

Interestingly, one of the press pictures of the Nio ET7 that debuted at Nio Day 2020 in January showed Oslo (Norway) as the live location of the car on the central screen, a hint for the first Nio overseas market. The location was a few hundred metres away from Karl Johans Gate. According to the report, Bin Li said a day later that this was an indication of the company’s plan to enter the overseas markets. Nio has posted 15 job offers related to local commercial operations in Norway on Linkedin, all with Oslo as the work location.

At the 2021 China EV100 Forum in January, Linhong said that the company is actively working on its overseas market launch, as per a report from cnEVpost. Nio has listed itself on a U.S. stock exchange, but its target is not the American market.

Nio Norway launch a crucial step in the global expansion

Though a small country, Norway is a crucial destination for automakers because of its policies. It is seeking to ban ICE vehicles by 2025. Norsk elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association) has said that EVs accounted for 50% of car sales last year. No other country in the world has created such a record, and the share is poised to go up further.

Nio has four models in its portfolio. The Nio ES8, a Tesla Model X rival, is the flagship SUV. Below is the Nio ES6, a Tesla Model Y opponent, and this model has a coupe version as well – Nio EC6. The newly launched Nio ET7 goes up against the Tesla Model S this year.

Norway’s central bank increases stake in Nio

Ahead of Nio’s entry into one of the leading EV markets in Europe, Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway, has increased its stake in the company. Norges Bank, which manages the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, called the Government Pension Fund Global, bought 13.4 million Nio shares in Q4 2020, with which its stake in the company now stands at 1.06%.

Nio investors Norges Bank
Norges Bank holds a 1.06% stake in Nio. Image Source: money.cnn.com

In other updates, Nio is likely to build a new plant next to the JAC-Nio plant where it currently manufactures electric vehicles. That’s according to another cnEVpost report, which cites a tender document as the source of this information. Nio’s next product launch is also a sedan, likely a Tesla Model 3 challenger.

Featured Image Source: Nio