NIO (car company)

NIO (Chinese: 蔚来; pinyin: Wèilái) is a Chinese multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Shanghai, specializing in designing and developing electric vehicles. The company is known for its development of battery-swapping stations for its vehicles as an alternative to conventional charging stations.[4]

NIO Inc.
TypePublic
ISINUS62914V1061
IndustryAutomotive
FoundedNovember 2014; 7 years ago (2014-11)
Headquarters,
China
Number of locations
5
Area served
[1]
Key people
RevenueIncrease CN¥16.258 billion (2020)[2]
Increase CN¥−4.608 billion (2020)[2]
Increase CN¥−5.611 billion (2020)[2]
Total assetsIncrease CN¥46.207 billion (2020)[2]
Total equityIncrease CN¥27.171 billion (2020)[2]
Number of employees
7,000+ (2020)[3]
DivisionsNIO Formula E Team
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese上海蔚来汽车有限公司
Traditional Chinese上海蔚來汽車有限公司
Business name
Simplified Chinese蔚来汽车
Traditional Chinese蔚來汽車
Literal meaningSky-Blue Coming Motor Vehicles
Websitenio.com

OverviewEdit

After the brand launch in the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2016, several companies invested in NIO, including Tencent, Temasek, Sequoia, Lenovo and TPG. Its first model, the NIO EP9 sports car, debuted the same day the brand was established.

In October 2016, NIO announced that it had been given an "Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit" by the California DMV and it would begin testing on public roads under the "Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program" guidelines as part of its autonomous vehicle program. According to the company, it planned to launch vehicles with level-three and level-four autonomy.[5]

In May 2018, NIO opened its first battery swap station in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, dubbed the "Power Swap Station".[6] Only batteries for ES8 cars would be available from this station.[7]

In September 2018, the company filed for a US$1.8 billion initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.[8]

In late April 2020, NIO announced approximately US$1 billion in new funding from a group of Chinese investors,[9] which was needed due to the company's struggles to sell its vehicles.[10] As part of the deal, NIO would transfer assets to a new subsidiary called NIO China, which will be headquartered in Hefei.[11]

In August 2020, NIO launched Battery as a Service (BaaS) and formed a battery asset management company in collaboration with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited ("CATL"), Hubei Science Technology Investment Group Co., Ltd. and a subsidiary of Guotai Junan International Holdings Limited. Each contributing roughly US$31.6 million (CN¥200 million) into the venture, for 25% equity. BaaS helps lower the purchase price of NIO electric vehicles by about 25%.[12]

In May 2021, NIO announced a Norway expansion plan, saying it would begin delivering cars to Norway by September 2021.[13] In the third quarter of 2021, NIO delivered 24,439 ES8, ES6, and EC6, a new quarterly record representing a growth of 100.2% year over year.[14]

At NIO Day in December 2021, NIO announced it would bring its User Enterprise to Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden in 2022.[1]

On 22 February 2022, it was announced that NIO is planning to venture into China's smartphone market and preparing to make its own handsets. The company has formed a smartphone division in Shenzhen, and is hiring staff to expand the team. The move is preceded by similar plans to manufacture smartphones by automakers Geely and Volvo.[15]

VehiclesEdit

NIO’s first car was the EP9 electric hypercar, presented the same day the brand was launched.[16] NIO revealed the ES8, a seven-seater electric SUV in December 2017 and began deliveries of the ES8 in June 2018. NIO launched the ES6, a five-seater electric SUV, in December 2018, and began deliveries in June 2019. In December 2019, NIO launched the EC6, a five-seater electric coupe SUV with deliveries beginning in September 2020. NIO launched ET7, its electric sedan, in January 2021 and revealed ET5, its most compact sedan at NIO Day in December 2021.[17]

To date, NIO has revealed two concept cars; EVE at SXSW 2017 and ET Preview at Auto Shanghai 2019. [18] [19]

Model name Photo Specifications
EP9 Nio EP9.jpg

Body style: Coupe

Class: Sports car (S)

Doors: 2

Seats: 2

Motor: Indirectly water-cooled electric motors

Production: 2016–present

EC6 NIO EC6 001.jpg

Body style: SUV

Class: Mid-size (J)

Doors: 5

Seats: 5

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2020–present

ES6 Nio ES6 001.jpg

Body style: SUV

Class: Mid-size (J)

Doors: 5

Seats: 5

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2019–present

ES8 NIO ES8 01 China 2019-04-02.jpg

Body style: SUV

Class: Full-size (J)

Doors: 5

Seats: 6

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2018–present

ET7 NIO ET7 001.jpg

Body style: Sedan

Class: E-segment/ Full-size

Doors: 4

Seats: 5

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2021–present (deliveries started in March 2022[20])

Upcoming modelsEdit

Model name Photo Specifications
EF9

Body style: Minivan

Class: (M) Minivan

Doors: 5

Seats: 7/8

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2022 (to commence)

ES7

Body style: SUV

Class: (J) Mid-size Doors: 5

Seats: 5

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2022 (to commence)

ET5

Body style: Sedan

Class: D-segment/ Mid-size

Doors: 4

Seats: 4

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2021 (to commence)

Concept modelsEdit

Model name Photo Specifications
ET Preview NIO ET Preview Concept 001.jpg

Body style: Sedan

Class: (E) Full-size

Doors: 4

Seats: 4

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2019 (previewed ET7)

Eve NIO Eve concept 01.jpg

Body style: Station wagon

Class: (C) Compact autonomous vehicle

Doors: 2

Seats: 4

Battery: Lithium-ion battery

Production: 2017 (previewing a possible upcoming model)


Battery swappingEdit

Battery swapping was first available on the NIO ES8

Unlike Tesla, which has tried battery swapping but has never deployed it on a large scale and relies instead on its Supercharger network, NIO has built a functioning network of 700 battery-swap stations that covers several thousand kilometers of Chinese expressways.[21]

The first phase was installing 18 battery-swap stations in 14 different locations along the G4 expressway, a 2,273-kilometre-long (1,412 mi) road connecting Beijing (the national capital) with the Pearl River Delta (world's largest urban area[22] where Hong Kong and Shenzhen are located). This was completed in November 2018.[23]

The second phase consisted of installing battery-swap stations in 8 locations along the G2 expressway, a 1,212-kilometre-long (753 mi) road connecting Beijing with Shanghai. This phase was completed in January 2019.[24]

As of August 2020, NIO had built 143 battery swap stations across 64 cities in China, and completed over 800,000 battery swaps for its customers.[25]

These battery swapping stations have a reported swapping time of five minutes.[26]

On 24 March 2021, NIO completed its 2 millionth battery swap in the city of Suzhou. It has also deployed 193 battery swapping stations, 134 supercharging stations, and 327 destination stations across China.[27]

On 10 December 2021, NIO installed its 700th battery swap station in China, hitting its annual target ahead of schedule, NIO's second-generation battery swap station allows the vehicle to automatically park into the station, with which users can experience a three-minute battery swap while staying inside the vehicle. So far, NIO has provided over 5.3 million swaps to users in China. Battery swapping has become one of the favourite power solutions among NIO users.[28]

As of May 2022, NIO has 917 battery swap stations in China, and had opened its first swap station in Europe, located in Norway, with plans to expand in other cities.[29]

SalesEdit

Calendar year ES6 ES8 EC6 Total Notes
2018 0 11,348 0 11,348
2019 11,433 9,132 0 20,565
2020 27,945 10,861 4,922 43,728 Sales dropped in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 x x x 91,429
2022 x x x 30,842
Total x x x 197,912 *As of 30 April 2022[30]

On April 7, 2021, the company produced its 100,000th electric vehicle.[31]

On April 26, 2022, NIO announced its 200,000th electric car rolling off the production line. [32]

ManagementEdit

Wiliam Li

William Li or Li Bin (Chinese: 李斌; pinyin: Lǐ Bīn; born August 9, 1974) is a Chinese business executive and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the electric car manufacturer NIO. In June 2021, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated Li's net worth to be US$7.11 billion. Li co-founded and invested in over 40 companies in the internet and automotive industries. [33]

Awards and honours

  • GQ China Entrepreneur of the Year – 2017 [34]
  • China Automobile Dealers Association Person of the Year – 2017
  • 2017 Top 10 Economic Personages of China
  • Forbes Most Intriguing Newcomer in the Transportation Awards - 2020[35]

Lihong Qin

Lihong Qin is a Chinese business executive. He is a co-founder and CEO of the electric car manufacturer NIO. [36]

Kris Tomasson

Kris Tomasson (born 1967 is an American industrial designer and vice president of Design at NIO.

Hui Zhang

Hui Zhang is vice president NIO Europe. He manages both the German  and UK locations of the electric car manufacturer. [37]

TechnologiesEdit

NOMI AIEdit

NOMI[38] is NIO’s digital assistant for the car dashboard to provide a closer engagement with its drivers and passengers and NIO claims is the world’s first in-car AI system for production vehicles.

The NOMI Mate 2.0 features a circular AMOLED[39] display and incorporates artificial intelligence with a human face-like interface that swivels and blinks its oval ‘eyes’ to address each vehicle occupant directly, depending on their location.

NOMI learns user preferences over time to understand the specific context of the car in relation to its owner. For example, NOMI can set the personal seating and steering wheel positions whenever it senses a driver approaching the vehicle. Users can also give NOMI verbal commands to adjust the cabin temperature, open or close windows, or snap an in-car selfie and have it displayed on the radio screen.

MotorsportEdit

Formula EEdit

 
NIO have been participating in the ABB FIA Formula E since 2014, the inaugural season.

The NIO team is one of the original Formula E teams, originally competing under the name Team China Racing. [40]Before the first season was completed, they rebranded as NEXTEV TCR. In this inaugural season, their main driver Nelson Piquet Jr became the FIA Formula E Driver's Champion, after winning two races in Long Beach and Moscow. [41] [42]The team was only able to achieve fourth in the constructor's championship though, in part due to a rotating line-up of second drivers that didn't achieve as consistent level of success as Piquet.

From season 2 onwards, Formula E opened up car development, with teams creating their own powertrains. [43]NIO used their own design NEXTEV powertrain, but it saw a downturn in the team's performance for the constructor's championship, as they finished only 9th in season 2, 6th in season 3 and 8th in season 4. By this point, the team had morphed through NEXTEV, NEXTEV NIO until renamed simply NIO. Season 5 would see the team's meagre successes diminish further, as they languished 11th and last in the championship.

For season 6 (2019–20) the team was sold on to Lisheng Racing and renamed NIO 333 Racing.[44] For the first time since season 1, NIO did not provide their own powertrain for the car, instead using the previous year's Dragon powertrain. It was rebranded under NIO's name and they remained classified as a manufacturer. This didn't change the team's fortunes, as they would go on to have their worst ever season, with neither Oliver Turvey nor Ma Qinghua being able to score any points in 2020. In season seven NIO improved marginally, as whilst Turvey and new arrival Tom Blomqvist amassed a total of 19 points throughout the campaign, the squad still remained in last place.

NIO once again changed their driver line-up for the 2021–22 Formula E season, as Blomqvist made way for former Red Bull and Williams junior Dan Ticktum.[45]

World recordsEdit

NIO set five records in their track-only EP9 for the fastest lap for an electric-powered car in the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Circuit Paul Ricard, Circuit of the Americas, and Shanghai International Circuit tracks.[46]

ControversiesEdit

Missing factoryEdit

In 2018, while NIO was preparing for an IPO, the company told investors that they were building a new factory in Shanghai.[47] Then in March 2019, NIO disclosed that the factory would never be built. According to former employees, construction had never started. Investors sued and accused NIO's promoters, which included Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, of negligence in examining NIO's financial statements.

Self-driving fatalityEdit

In August 2021, Lin Wenqin, a 31-year-old Chinese man, was killed after his NIO ES8 collided with a construction vehicle.[48] NIO's self-driving feature is still in beta and cannot yet deal with static obstacles.[49] Though the vehicle's manual clearly states that the driver must take over when nearing construction sites, the issue is whether the feature was improperly marketed and unsafe. Lawyers of the deceased's family have also called into question NIO's private access to the vehicle, which they argue may lead to the data ending up forged.[50]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b c d e "NIO Inc. Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results". www.nio.com. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  3. ^ "NIO: About | LinkedIn". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Will swapping out electric car batteries catch on?". BBC News. 16 May 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  5. ^ "NIO - NextEV Issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit in California". www.nio.io. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
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  8. ^ "Chinese electric carmaker filed for a $1.8B IPO in the US after selling 481 cars with 15000 backlog". The Hustle. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
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  48. ^ "Believing too much in the words "automatic driving", the CEO of a Chinese startup company crashed into a construction vehicle in self-driving mode and died | T客邦". News Directory 3. 20 August 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  49. ^ Rearick, Brenden; Aug 16, InvestorPlace Assistant News Writer; 2021; EST, 12:56 pm (16 August 2021). "NIO Stock: 10 Things to Know About the Fatal Crash Dragging Down Nio Today". InvestorPlace. Retrieved 17 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  50. ^ Ruffo, Gustavo Henrique (17 August 2021). "Nio's Autopilot, NOP, Faces Intense Scrutiny With First Fatal Crash in China". autoevolution. Retrieved 17 February 2022.

External linksEdit