After the Shanghai-based car manufacturer Nio was able to establish itself in the Chinese home market, it is daring to make the leap to Europe this year. The brand announced today that it will also offer its all-electric models in Norway from the summer.
The fact that the Chinese are starting their Europe offensive in the poorly populated country in the northwest of the continent is anything but a coincidence. With government subsidies and certain privileges for electric vehicles, the Scandinavians have created the most advanced car market in the world. Last year, for the first time ever, more pure e-cars than combustion engines and hybrids were sold in Norway. In addition, the Norwegian king visited the Middle Kingdom in 2018. Even then, Nio entered into a partnership with the Norwegian Association for Electromobility.
It starts with the SUV Nio ES8
According to the manufacturer, the originally planned European start has been delayed by the corona crisis. In March, Nio founded its Norwegian subsidiary, and in July the order books for the luxury SUV ES8 with a battery capacity of 100 kWh and a range of around 500 kilometers are to be opened. From September, Nio plans to deliver the model, which is already established in China, to its first Norwegian customers. Next year, the range is to be expanded to include the luxury-class sedan ET7, which will already drive largely autonomously and will later have an advanced solid-state battery.
In addition, the first Nio House outside of China is currently being built in the center of Oslo. The 2,000-square-meter, multi-storey showroom is a combination of an exhibition space, café and adventure site, which is intended to serve as a meeting point for Nio drivers and fans of the brand.
Exchange stations also for Europe
Nio is currently the only manufacturer in whose cars the batteries can be easily replaced. The time-saving concept has already proven itself in China. There, the energy storage devices at a total of 190 stations can be automatically exchanged within just three minutes. Nio has announced that this service can also be used by European customers in the long term. Four exchange stations are due to start operating in the region around the capital Oslo this year. The program is to be expanded to all of Norway in 2022. In addition, the Chinese carmaker would like to set up a nationwide network of fast charging stations and offer special wall boxes for the home garage.
Germany will follow next year
Large Nio branches are to be opened in Oslo and four other Norwegian cities in 2021. The service network with partner workshops is to be expanded further next year. In addition to the stationary service, the Chinese are planning a pick-up and delivery service, as well as the use of mobile mechanics who, if necessary, come directly to the customers with their electric delivery vans. In today’s presentation, Nio limited himself to information on the Norway strategy. In an interview with Der Spiegel, however, the brand founder William Li revealed that Nio would like to expand to Germany as early as next year. This decision is hardly surprising, after all, the carmaker’s design center has been in Munich for several years.