Nio will start selling models with the new 100 kWh battery on 7 November. The Chinese electric car manufacturer also provides fresh details about the novel power pack that uses CATL’s latest technology announced for the first time in April.
With more than 300 registered and acquired patents, Nio’s 100 kWh battery utilises Cell-to-Pack technology (CTP) developed with CATL, which Nio says achieves an energy density 37 per cent higher than a conventional pack. This is more than CATL estimated when presenting the CTP batteries at the 2019 IAA. The company had then given key data as follows: they were to increase mass-related energy density by 10 to 15 per cent, and for volume-related usage efficiency, the company reported an improvement of 15 to 20 per cent.
In any case, the technology enables makers to store more energy in the same battery space, while CATL also made the battery lighter by using 40 per cent fewer components. For the Nio pack, the company also mentions all-climate thermal management and a streamlined manufacturing process. Add to this thermal propagation prevention and a bi-directional cloud BMS that supports “smart parameter adjustments based on work conditions to improve the battery’s performance under all conditions,” Nio says.
Nio utilising CATL cells in their models with the 100 kWh battery also means the coming of a new longer-range era. Nio had announced as much earlier this year in April when they presented the revised E8. The electric SUV features the large power pack which now arrives as scheduled. Nio had specified NEDC range at up to 580 kilometres for the larger eSUV. In today’s communication, the company speaks of up to 615 km, again in NEDC but fails to name a specific model. Apart from the E8, the EC6 also bears the bigger battery as reported.
Owners of a Nio model with a 70 kWh battery may also buy into the new battery pack. They can upgrade their electric car to 100 kWh either by purchasing or renting the new battery through Nio’s battery-as-a-service (BaaS). The upgrade can also be made flexibly by paying 880 yuan ($130/€112) per month or 7,980 yuan ($1,190/€1,017) per year. Nio claims that under the BaaS model, drivers who opt for a car powered by the 100 kWh battery will pay 128,000 yuan ($19,300/€16,315) less upfront with a subscription for 1,480 yuan ($220/€188) per month. In previous subscriptions for the 70 kWh battery, the reduction was 70,000 yuan.
Introduced in August this year, Nio’s BaaS is run together with CATL and two other partners through the Battery Asset Company. The new company owns the batteries and lease them through the BaaS business model with CATL supplying the cells.
Nio can also tie in another proposition. The young company now operates 158 battery-swapping stations around China (up from 143 in August) and Nio claims it completed over 1,18 million battery swaps. Founder William Li Bin added that Nio was building a new battery-swapping station in China every week and planned to build 300 new stations next year. This is a huge expansion given that Nio completed the first battery-swap corridor in January 2019 as reported.
And this is not the end of the line for Nio with its 100 kWh capacity. Li Bin earlier this week announced a 150 kWh battery pack, which should enable ranges of over 900 kilometres. The CEO also said the firm hoped to enter international markets from the second half of next year starting with select European countries with more markets to follow from 2022 as reported.