NIO to Bring BEV Battery Swap to Norway

NIO is the latest Chinese BEV maker to target Norway as its first foothold into the European car market by bringing its battery swap system to the continent.

The move follows on from first Byd and then Xpeng’s decision last year to focus on the nation at the vanguard of BEV consumer take-up bolstered by generous government grants for the technology plus an extensive charging infrastructure enjoying 85% of its energy from renewable sources including Norway’s substantial hydroelectric power generation. Now NIO is entering the fray with its ES8 SUV to be followed by the ET7 sedan.

The flagship SUV claims an electric range of around 310 on the WLTP rating while the sedan is scheduled to follow in 2022. Pre-orders for the ES8 will be available from July 2021 and the first vehicles are expected to be delivered from September 2021.

The brand also intends to bring it’s battery swap-out system to Europe where the motorist can have a depleted battery pack exchanged for a fully charge one in around three minutes. It claims the first four stations are scheduled to go into operation before the end of 2021. More swap stations will be added in 2022, creating initially a power network in five cities in Norway.

In addition, NIO says it will also build its own supercharger network in Norway. With NIO Power Home, a charging solution developed for the home will be added to the offering. Other services to be added will include dedicated mobile service vehicles which will be on call to carry out simple repair and maintenance work on site. NIO also offers its users a pick-up-and-delivery service for the vehicles, which relieves the user of trips to the service center.

NIO CEO and founder William Li, said: “From the beginning, we have been a company with a global focus. We have been operating our design center in Munich since 2015, we have a performance team in Oxford, and we have our software team in San José in Silicon Valley. We now employ more than 9,000 people from 45 countries. We were the first to enter the market in China. Now it’s about introducing our brand and our products in Europe.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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