Nio plants own battery plant in China


EV maker Nio is looking to build its first battery plant for round cells. News agency Reuters first broke the story, citing two people familiar with the project. The plant will have an annual capacity of 40 GWh and will be located next to Nio’s main manufacturing hub in Hefei City, China.

Nio wants to rely less on battery supplier CATL, as the EV maker is looking to increase its presence on the Chinese market and abroad. It was recently reported that CATL could offer lower battery prices to select automakers if they agreed to purchase at least 80 per cent of its batteries from the battery maker. Nio was reportedly among the brands to whom CATL offered the deal.

Though Nio’s battery production plans are not new. Last year, the company announced that it would produce its own 800-volt battery packs from 2024. However, it was unclear at the time where production would take place. Longterm, Nio even wants to produce its own battery cells.

According to Chinese news outlets, the carmaker is working on 4680-format battery cells and lower-cost lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) cells. These will be used in Nio models and for the company’s new brand, currently known under the codename ALPS.

It recently became known that ALPS electric cars will be built in a new production facility in the NeoPark industrial park, also located in Hefei. The EV production facility for Nio’s second sub-brand, codename Firefly, will be located in Chuzhou, just a stone’s throw away from Hefei.

Nio would therefore be the next carmaker to use round cells. Tesla was reportedly the first to do so and will open a new production facility at its site in Nevada, US, for the 4680 battery production. The manufacturer is investing more than 3.6 billion dollars, while the yearly capacity of the new site will be 100 GWh.

BMW also confirmed the switch to round cells, and General Motors will allegedly also follow the move.


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