Nio, the Chinese-based EV startup, is starting its expansion to the west. The firm will launch in at least six European markets by 2022.
The firm confirmed its ambitions for Europe on its earnings call this week. In fact, the company is already taking orders for its electric SUVs and shipping small batches of vehicles to Norway.
However, Nio did not identify which five other European countries it would enter in 2022.
Nio is not like a traditional automaker and wants to make the experience of owning a vehicle different. In China, Nio owners enjoy access to Nio owner clubs in specific malls across China.
In addition, the Nio app provides data on the vehicle, access to a human assistant in real-time, an e-commerce store, news articles and even a user forum.
As well, the company hopes that their ‘Battery-as-a-Service’ model picks up in Europe. The BaaS model, which the company launched in August 2020, allows clients to buy vehicles without permanently installed batteries.
Instead, owners swap drained batteries for charged batteries at swapping stations throughout the Nio charging network. Nio is already offering the BaaS option to Norwegian clients and plans to expand that to the other five European countries.
Although Europe is an entirely new market, Nio hopes to bring the Nio experience to the west. During the earnings call, Nio confirmed that orders in Norway had exceeded expectations. In addition, a quarter of customers who test drove the cars in Norway ended up placing an order.