While Tesla continues to rule the roost when it comes to electric car sales in China, other EV manufacturers are also seeing sales gains in that country. NIO has just announced new quarterly and monthly sales records for its electric vehicles.
- 4,708 vehicles delivered in September, an increase of 133% year over year.
- 12,206 vehicles delivered in the third quarter which ended September 30, an increase of 154% year over year.
In total, the company has delivered 26,375 all electric vehicles in 2020, more than twice as many as at this time last year.
One thing that sets NIO apart from its competitors is its embrace of battery swapping, which allows customers to buy the car and lease the battery or simply swap a depleted battery for a fully charged one at any of NIO’s 143 automated battery swapping stations located in 64 cities. The “battery as a service”model allows customers to exchange their original battery for one with the latest technology or upgrade the capacity of their battery after they buy the car. Swapping the battery takes about the same amount of time as filling the gas tank of a conventional gasoline or diesel powered car.
To date, the company has completed more than 800,000 battery swaps. In addition, the company has been busy installing chargers for its customers to use. It now has more than 35,000 chargers in its network, including many DC fast chargers located along major transportation routes.
NIO has also formed an alliance with Mobileye to develop cutting edge driver assistance technologies and plot a path forward for the autonomous driving cars of the future. Mobileye is also working with such well known manufacturers as Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and Nissan. In an announcement last last year, the two companies said, “NIO will engineer and manufacture a self-driving system designed by Mobileye, building on its Level 4 AV kit. 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. NIO’s variants will target initial release in China, with plans to subsequently expand into other global markets.”
NIO is not causing anyone at Tesla to lose sleep but it is steadily moving ahead in a crowded market. With solid backing from its financial and technical partners, it should become an important part of the EV revolution.