NIO Inc. is a multinational EV manufacturer and one of China’s top 6 manufacturers. The company was founded in 2014 by Lihong Qin and William Li as NextEV. The company rebranded and relaunched in 2017, however, this time as Nio Inc, and is best known for its revolutionary take on batteries. Nio Inc. is headquartered in Shanghai, the People's Republic of China. The company hit a major milestone in mid-2022 by delivering its 218,000th vehicle.
Nio’s philosophy is Blue Sky Coming. This is referencing a brighter tomorrow brought about by revolutionary technology in EV and battery technology. NIO Inc recognizes batteries are the most expensive part of the EV and that charging is the most restrictive. To combat both problems the company designs its cars so the batteries are easily removable which factors into the long-term plans. NIO Inc is also building out a network of battery-swapping stations that will allow drivers to pull in and swap a dead battery for a fully charged one.
Battery swapping opens the door not only to long-term customer relationships via battery-swapping plans, otherwise known as BaaS or battery-as-a-service but also to the ability to sell cars without a battery which greatly reduces the price point. The company announced the opening of its 1,000th swapping station in China in the summer of 2022 and was on track at the time to begin expanding outside of China. The first location outside of China was opened in Norway.
Nio Inc. is engaged in the design, manufacture, and sale of electric vehicles in the People's Republic of China, the US, and Europe. The company also manufactures electric motors, battery packs, and other components for the global EV market. Along with this, the company announced its intentions to enter the smartphone market in 2022 along with plans to outfit a production facility in Shenzen.
Nio Inc.’s automobiles are built around three key platforms that include a sports car, a line of SUV/crossovers, and a sedan. The EP-9 sports car is the firm's first model and has been in production since 2016. The EC-6 and ES6, ES7, and ES8 are all SUV crossovers with seating from 5 to 7 people. The ET5 and ET7 are 4 and 5-passenger sedans. Upcoming models are the ES3 SUV crossover and the EF9 minivan. Models in development include the ET full-size sedan and the Eve station wagon, a full autonomous compact vehicle.
Yet another way that Nio sets itself apart from the average EV manufacturer is that it is focused on high-performance and smart vehicles. Smart vehicles are a stepping stone on the path to autonomous driving and provide a host of advantages to drivers that include improved maintenance and uptime. Nio also operates a chain of 84 Nio House locations. Nio House locations are artistic attractions in major metropolitan areas that feature social areas, private spaces, libraries, and cafes.