The Chinese manufacturer Nio is aiming for an annual production capacity of 500,000 vehicles with its future new brand for more affordable electric cars, according to CEO William Li. To this end, Nio has now signed an agreement with the city of Hefei for the second construction phase of the NeoPark.
The NeoPark is an eMobility industrial park in Hefei in which Nio, among others, is involved. Electric cars, batteries, preliminary products and other components for e-vehicles are to be produced there. Research in the field will also be conducted there. Among other things, Nio will build its ET5 electric sedan at NeoPark; the first test batch recently rolled off the production line – deliveries are scheduled to begin in September.
The new Nio brand, which is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2024, will primarily compete with Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y with its models. The target sales prices are between 200,000 and 300,000 yuan (currently about 28,000 to 43,000 euros). According to Li’s announcement, the vehicles will be ten per cent cheaper than the respective Tesla models – and will also be compatible with Nio’s battery swap system.
As reported, Nio is planning to develop its own 800-volt battery packs for the new brand and, in the long term, to manufacture its own cells. Whether this means that the Nio brand models will also be converted to 800 volts when they use common battery exchange stations has not been confirmed.
When exactly the brand name and the first models will be presented is also not known. Nio has so far only confirmed the start of deliveries in the second half of 2024. Li has now also stated that the first batch of products has entered a “critical phase” in research and development.
There is also news on Europe: Nio will open a factory in Hungary for its planned network of battery exchange stations on the continent. Charging columns will also be manufactured there to meet demand in Europe, as with the exchange stations. The report does not say when the factory will open or what production capacity is planned. In July 2021, Nio had already received the relevant certifications to be able to sell and operate its battery exchange stations and chargers in all EU member states.
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