Yes, we know we just did a piece on NIO a few days ago, celebrating its strong showing in May — 5th best selling electric car in China for the month, albeit far behind the stellar performance of the Tesla Model 3. But no sooner had we gotten to the May numbers, the June numbers hit our inbox. So over vegan shrimp on the barbie at Zachary’s palatial digs, we kicked around the latest info while imbibing our ritual afternoon mocktails of tonic water and lime juice on the rocks and decided to update our prior story. (Or something like that.)
In a statement emailed to CleanTechnica Intergalactic Headquarters, NIO says it delivered 3,740 vehicles in June 2020, a 179.1% growth rate compared to June of 2019. “The deliveries consisted of 2,476 ES6s, the Company’s 5-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV, and 1,264 ES8s, the Company’s 7-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV, and its 6-seater variant. NIO delivered 10,331 vehicles in the second quarter of 2020, representing an increase of 190.8% year-over-year and an increase of 169.2% quarter-over-quarter. As of June 30, 2020, cumulative deliveries of the ES8 and the ES6 reached 46,082 vehicles, of which 14,169 were delivered in 2020.”
“In June, we achieved a historical high of monthly deliveries, contributing to our best quarterly performance. We appreciate the continuous support from our growing and loyal user community,” says William Bin Li, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of NIO. “We are proud of our team for their strong execution from production to delivery. We remain committed to offering the best premium smart electric vehicles and the best user experience to our users.”
Steven Feng, chief financial officer of NIO, added, “We are pleased to deliver solid results driven by our competitive products, superior services and expanding sales network. Our deliveries in the second quarter of 2020 exceeded the high end of our earlier projection, and we are confident that our goals on gross margin and operational efficiency will be achieved.”
NIO is more than just another EV company — it is one of the two hottest EV startups in China (trading places from time to time with Xpeng). Furthermore, it has forged a close relationship with Intel as part of its goal to offer cars with advanced autonomous driving features. In a press release last year, NIO said of the technology its partnership with Intel is expected to make possible, “This self-driving system would be the first of its kind, targeting consumer autonomy and engineered for automotive qualification standards, quality, cost and scale. NIO will mass-produce the system for Mobileye and also integrate the technology into its electric vehicle lines for consumer markets and for Mobileye’s driverless ride-hailing services. The agreement marks the first large-scale automaker partner supplying vehicles to Mobileye, as the company builds a global commercial robotaxi fleet that adapts to the mobility needs of the 21st century.”
NIO is also one of the few electric car companies that offers battery swapping services. Not only does it ensure that customers are driving with the latest-spec batteries, but it allows them to upgrade from the original battery the car came with to a larger battery at any time. Reportedly, the fee for going from an 80 kWh battery to a 100 kWh battery is a very reasonable $5,000. To date, NIO has completed more than half a million battery swaps at its 136 automated battery swap stations located in 56 cities throughout China.
NIO may not be threatening Tesla yet, but Chinese people, like people everywhere, have an affinity for homegrown technology and locally produced products. It is encouraging to see sales of its larger ES8 electric SUV picking up after a total redesign of the car since last year. Slow and steady may very well be the key to NIO’s future sales growth.
Note: The author owns shares in NIO. The author and CleanTechnica do not offer any sort of investment advice at all.