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NIO battery swapping technology faces suspicion

Biwen Wang From Gasgoo| December 25,2017

nio ES8, NIO swapping battery, China swapping battery EV, China EV start-up

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- NIO first mass-produced model ES8 has attracted great attention since its launching on December 16th. The model provides two versions with selling prices for basic version and Founder version reaching RMB 448,000 and 548,000 before subsidies respectively.

NIO also launches “electricity service system” NIO Power with more than 300 patents in its power swapping system, which can enable the vehicle to swap batteries in three minutes. The launch of NIO power updates services into a new dimension for market competition. NIO claims that it will construct 1,100 battery swapping stations in ten cities by the year 2020.

But NIO power change mode faces great market suspicion. In fact, an Israeli company named Better Place adopted power swapping mode several years ago but received little profits. It also conducted in-depth cooperation with Renault-Nissan alliance but met failure. Tesla also displayed 90 seconds battery swapping function four years ago but kept silent ever since. Wang Chuanfu, Board Chairman of BYD made public suspicion on power swapping mode and put forward three technological conflicts of convenience, safety and cleanness.

NIO’s production also meets suspicion. It’s learned that some ES8 models displayed on the press conference were produced in NIO Nanjing trial factory while vehicles in mass-production would be completed in JAC Hefei new factory.

NIO cooperates with JAC to obtain mass-production certificates and the models produced will bear NIO LOGO but still show JAC mark in the tails. It’s also revealed that mass production will begin in January next year when all lines are equipped.

Wang Dongsheng, deputy party secretary of JAC Auto, emphasized that the cooperation is not only simple OEM production but also in-depth coordination in whole industrial chains including R&D, manufacturing and parts services. In this way, NIO would spare more funds and efforts in R&D. 

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