NIO has opened a new Innovation Center in one of the hearts of Europe — Berlin, Germany. “In response to the need for software that’s central to the user experience, the Berlin Innovation Center will be responsible for the development of new technologies and its respective localisation, testing and validation in Europe,” Green Car Congress writes.
“NIO’s new Innovation Center will be the home for five teams including Digital Systems, Digital Development, Digital Cockpit, Autonomous Driving (AD) and Power. NIO’s Power infrastructure in Europe will have its R&D hub in the Innovation Center too, with a focus on Power Grid Service, and it will also act as the operational control centre for all European Power Swap Stations.”
It’s an interesting development. NIO has massive innovation work and staff already in China. The new center in Berlin could serve a few purposes, though. First of all, there’s a great talent pool and tons of tech innovation in Berlin, so NIO could be looking to tap into that culture and community. Additionally, European cars need different stuff sometimes, and different features and designs. So, having an innovation base in Germany makes sense for working on those modifications and different development. NIO may also be focused on developing more of a connection to European markets and stimulating sales, presuming that opening an innovation center there will help with that.
“As of July 2023, NIO has more than 10,000 R&D personnel, with the majority specialized in software development across three different continents. With the opening of the Innovation Center in Berlin, NIO will continue to seek new talent for its different teams, benefiting from the German capital being such a strong technology hub.”
Or maybe it’s a distraction? No, that doesn’t make sense. However, there is some less positive new about NIO leaking out. Reportedly, the company has had to delay its in-house battery production. “Nio has delayed plans to mass-produce its in-house developed batteries and will move forward with the project on a new timeline, local media outlet 36kr reported,” Batteries News writes. “Based on the latest plan, Nio has slowed down some of the equipment purchases for its battery factory, the report said, citing several industry chain sources familiar with the matter.”
CEO, founder, and chairman William Li notes that NIO’s battery team is already 400 people strong. The battery factory will give a boost to those numbers … when it’s finally built and operating. Eventually, when it gets to that point, the battery factory will be able to produce 40 GWh per year of energy storage capacity, or enough batteries for about 400,000 electric vehicles
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