The Chinese e-car manufacturer Nio with founder William Li takes the plunge into Europe.
Norway is supplied as the first European market.
By the way, maneuvering into the changing port is done by the car itself at the push of a button.
So that younger drivers can also afford a Nio, the Chinese are also offering the batteries by leasing. The purchase price of the ET 7 drops from around 60,000 to 50,000 francs.
The Chinese electric car manufacturer Nio is opening its first Nio House in Europe in Oslo this month. In a prime location near the Royal Palace, of course. Unlike other manufacturers, however, the Chinese are not putting a representative palatial palace in the city center. Rather, the area should become a meeting place for Nio fans – a retreat and discussion forum at the same time. Entirely in the spirit of Nio founder William Li, who sees the idea of community as elementary for his company. Nio customers in China can already communicate with him directly via app and formulate their wishes and suggestions. “Li takes time every day to personally answer such inquiries. Companies that listen are successful, ”says Hui Zhang, Vice President of the Nio Group, explaining the philosophy.
This is how Nio works in China. And so Nio should soon be organized in Europe too. Let’s go now, more or less as a journeyman, first in Norway with the fully electric SUV ES 8. In the fourth quarter of next year, in addition to Sweden, Holland and Germany, Switzerland will also be included in the Nio community. Namely with the sedan Nio ET 7, which has just successfully completed the testing phase and will be delivered to the first customers in China at the end of the year. The 5.09 meter long e-sedan costs 448,000 RMB (approx. 60,000 Swiss francs) in China. But there is also a cheaper offer in which the battery is only leased.
Nio is a premium brand
Why a limousine and not an SUV that is much more popular with us? The answer is simple: The ET 7 is based on the current platform and offers the latest technology. “You only have one opportunity to make a first impression,” says European boss Oliver Schwarz. Such thinking is especially important for countries like Switzerland or Germany. Because Nio sees itself as a premium brand and wants to poach Audi, BMW and Mercedes customers.
Customer service as a trump card
Of course, Nio does not want to beat the established European competition on the autobahn, but rather in the spirit of the company boss in customer service. Nio buyers should all be queens and kings. For example when charging the battery. The Chinese are watching the scramble for charging stations very closely and want to team up with a strong partner. In Norway, for example, with plugsurfing. Nio customers have access to 20,000 charging points. Those responsible for the NIO have not yet revealed who they want to work with in Switzerland and Germany.
Replacement battery technology
But Nio also wants to bring exchangeable battery technology to Europe. The quick battery swap is no nonsense for technology-loving enthusiasts. In China there are already 470 such exchange stations, which accommodate 13 replacement battery modules and only require the space of four parking spaces. The Chinese government has recognized this technology as important, and with Geely and Saic other large manufacturers in China are already relying on this technology. By the way, maneuvering into the changing port will no longer be necessary in the future, the car will do that itself at the push of a button. If that is still too time-consuming, you can also order a kind of valet service subscription, which takes care of changing the modules and the car returns to the owner.
Battery leasing for beginners
The service for Nio customers goes even further. So that younger drivers can also afford a Nio, the car manufacturer offers battery leasing, which is handled by its own subsidiary Weineng Battery Asset. The idea behind this business model is “Battery as a Service”: the e-car drives shorter distances every day with a small battery pack, and a larger battery pack is only used when needed – for another vacation trip, for example. The purchase price for a Nio car is reduced by the equivalent of around 10,000 francs. And another nice side effect: Without expensive, but also aging batteries, the residual value of such cars increases.