On 6 May 2021, Nio announced its entry into foreign markets, beginning with European countries. The Nio Norway launch is first in the sequence, and preparations are well underway. On 10 June 2021, the company revealed that it had made progress in releasing Nio cars in Norway.
Nio has received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EWVTA) certificate for the ES8, the first model it plans to sell in Norway and European markets. The company has confirmed that it is on track to begin Nio ES8 Norway deliveries in September 2021. Following Norway, it would gradually expand the availability to more European destinations.
In other Nio Norway updates, a report from Bilbransje24 suggests that Nio ES8 customers opting for BaaS may not benefit from VAT exemption. Under the BaaS ownership model, the customer owns the EV but not the battery pack. The battery is on a lease, and so, technically, it is not complete ownership. Nio Norway has engaged with the country’s Ministry of Finance, but it hasn’t received a favorable solution. Nio Norway General Manager Marius Hayler hasn’t commented on this development.
Action begins in September
Nio has confirmed it would 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 commence in September. “The test drives will take place during September,” Hayler confirmed to TopElectricSUV.
Nio shipped the first batch of the Nio ES8 for customer deliveries in Norway from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port on 20 July 2021. The company said that it expects to start customer deliveries in September. The company reiterated that it would offer Nio House, Nio Power system, Nio service, and delivery center, Nio App, and Nio Life to Nio Norwegian customers.
According to a report from CnEVPost, Nio has ramped up recruitment in Europe to gear up for the launch this quarter. The company has set up its European headquarters in Amsterdam, as per the report.
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. Hayler has told TopElectricSUV.com that, in addition to the Nio House, Nio will open a Nio Service and Delivery Center in Oslo (in Ensjø) in September, and this location will also have a swap station.
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 customers will 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 Hayler.
Nio Power Norway aims to become operational around September this year, the same time when customer deliveries are scheduled to commence. Nio Power Swap Station, NIO Power Charger, and NIO Power Home received the TUV Rheinland European Conformity Certificate and TUV MARK Approval Certificate on 7 July 2021. So, Nio can sell and operate them in the European Union now. The company has shipped the first units of Nio Power Swap Station and Nio Power Charger to Norway.
Nio will set up its charging map and four Nio Power Swap Stations in Europe by the end of this year. The company will offer its power system in Norway, where it plans to build battery swap stations in five cities.
Nio car service stations
The Nio Service Centers in Norway will also aim to deliver a premium experience after-sale experience to customers. The brand will open a service and delivery center with a 1,800 square-meter floor space in the national capital in September. The company has already built up its own professional service team to provide Nio customers a premium service experience. Nio Service will provide a pickup and delivery service and a mobile service for the ultimate convenience of 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
Nio models to be priced higher than Audi cars in Europe
Earlier this year, a report from Global Times provided insight into Nio’s business strategy.
Qin Linhong, Director and President, Nio, told the Chinese publication at Auto Shanghai 2021 (April) that the company has begun establishing an after-sale service center and a data center in Europe. Qin also revealed that Nio cars would cost higher than Audi cars in Europe.
Qin indicated that a Nio US launch might 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 will mark the brand’s entry into Europe. In May 2021, Hayler told Bilbransje24 that the first Nio Norway showroom would be located at Karl Johans gate 33 A in Oslo, just a few blocks from the Polestar Oslo showroom. It 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.
Meanwhile, a new development at Nio in China is a high customer preference for alternative vehicle ownership modes. The Chinese automaker’s BaaS solution has received an honorable Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards 2021. In the company’s only current market, 55% of new Nio EV orders until February 2021 were specified as BaaS, per a report on cnevpost.com. On 24 March 2021, the company announced on WeChat that Nio customers had done more than 2 million battery swaps.
Hayler has told Bilbransje24 Nio will offer cars on lease to private and commercial customers right from launch. The company has tied up with Nordea for leasing and financial solutions. IF, which handles warranty issues, customer relations, and test drives for Xpeng (in Norway), is the company’s insurance partner in Norway.
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 only to go up further.
Nio has four models in its Chinese portfolio. The Nio ES8, a Tesla Model X rival, is the flagship SUV. Below it 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. On 18 May 2021, Nio built the first validation prototype of the ET7.
Nio to ramp up production
To meet the growing demand when exports begin, Nio has planned to ramp up production, say reports from China. The company has struck a deal with JAC and Jianglai for joint manufacturing of Nio vehicles and related fee arrangements. JAC already produces the ES8, ES6, and EC6, at the JAC-NIO factory in Hefei, China. Jianglai is a JAC-Nio joint venture company for operation management in which Nio holds a 49% stake.
From May 2021 to May 2024, JAC will continue manufacturing the ES8, ES6, and EC6 and also build the Nio ET7 and other Nio models yet to be put on sale. JAC will increase annual production capacity to 240,000 units. Jianglai will be responsible for parts assembly and operation management.
A more recent CnEVPost report has said that Nio plans to sell 50,000 units of the ET7 in 2022, which will be the first year of sales for the new model. This annual sales target, including the European allocation, converts to an average monthly sales target of 4,167 units. If the company can achieve it, the ET7 could take away the best-selling Nio model title from the ES6.
Nio sales in 2021
Nio has managed to sell 7,931 vehicles in July 2021. While it isn’t as good as June 2021’s sales of 8,083 units, July’s growth is 124.5 percent when compared year-on-year. Individually, the company managed to sell 1,702 units of the ES8, 3,669 units of the ES6 and 2,560 units of the EC6. Cumulative sales for the calendar year 2021 stands at 49,887 units. In 2022, we expect a bigger jump, due to the launch of the ET7, a wider availability in export markets and the launch of a smaller vehicle, the Nio Gemini.
In related updates, Nio is likely to build a new plant next to the JAC-Nio plant, according to another cnEVpost report, which cites a tender document as the source of this information.
Two billion miles and counting
According to local reports, Nio customers have collectively driven over two billion kilometers in the Chinese market. Reaching the first billion took 846 days, a little over two years and three months, but owners achieved the next billion in only 229 days or about eight months. Customers have driven their Nio EVs in 350 cities across China. As of July 2021, cumulative sales of Nio models stand at 125,528 units
Nio Day 2021 to be held in Suzhou
On 25 July, Nio announced that Suzhou city, located in the Jiangsu province, was chosen to host Nio Day 2021. With this, Nio said in a statement, “The event has entered the preparatory and implementation stage with immediate effect.”
Nio Day is an annual event that takes place in China. Excitement levels are on par with Tesla’s Battery Day, as it is a highly anticipated event among electric car enthusiasts. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nio had to push Nio Day 2020 to January of this year. Nio Day 2020 saw the launch of the company’s flagship sedan, the ET7, along with the announcement of its Power Swap Station 2.0 and 150 kWh solid-state battery. These developments are related to Nio’s operations in Europe as the company plans to expand in the region by offering its newest technologies and products.
While the dates have yet to be finalized, Nio has given a two-month window between December 2021 and January 2022 for when Nio Day 2021 will be held. It is expected to see the launch of the second sedan, positioned below the ET7, besides some surprises.
Featured Image Source: Nio