Chinese electric car maker Nio is going to open its first overseas plant to develop and manufacture power products. Technology like battery-swapping stations for European users will be made there. The changes come as the automaker is expanding abroad.
Nio will speed up the construction of battery swapping stations in Europe with a view to expanding sales of its cars in countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark in the second half of this year.
The company is also partnering with oil giant Shell PLC to build battery swapping stations globally, starting with China and Europe this year, according to a Nio statement on Monday. Shell will open its charging network in Europe to Nio users, it added. Nio started shipping its ES8s to Norway in 2021 and has opened a showroom in Oslo. The company has been touting its after-sales services with city-center showrooms and battery service networks as important competitive advantages. Nio has said it planned to establish 4,000 battery swapping stations worldwide, a quarter of them outside China. More Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startups and battery makers are increasing their presence in global markets where EV and energy storage demand is taking off.
Production outside China
In June this year, the EV maker announced its plans to locate one-third of its production capacity outside China by 2025. The company, based in Hefei in Anhui province, said in a statement on Tuesday that it plans to build a total battery production capacity of 300-gigawatt hours (GWh) in three years, reiterating a goal it first announced last year. In 2021, Gotion produced 16 GWh. The company said 100 GWh of its planned total capacity would be located overseas.
Chinese battery makers are accelerating expanding production in overseas markets where rivals such as Panasonic and LG Energy Solution are more dominant. Gotion’s move also follows that of its Chinese competitor CATL, the world’s largest battery giant, which aims to start cell production at its German plant by the end of the year. CATL’s chairman Zeng Yuqun said earlier that it is also exploring possibilities to localize production for overseas automakers in their countries.
Gotion, which counts Volkswagen as its largest single investor, said it will start building its first overseas battery plant in Gottingen, Germany by the end of this year and aims to start production earliest next September. The plant, which will be upgraded from an old facility Gotion bought from Bosch last year, will develop and manufacture batteries for uses in EVs and energy storage in Europe. The company also unveiled its first series of energy storage products for overseas markets on Monday.