NIO hosted its annual event NIO Day 2021 in Chengdu, China. The event presents key milestones NIO have achieved and the future for the company. As an investor of NIO, it would bebeneficial to understand how the company is going to progress going forward. Today’s event mainly covers the launch of 150kWh battery pack, NIO eT7 sedan and the autonomous driving hardware used by NIO.
NIO have performed well in the number of car deliveries, obtaining 43k new customers during the year, making total deliveries to be 65,641.
Battery as a service – Change, Swap & Upgrade
Battery as a service (BaaS) is one key differentiation point in with other cars in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry, where car owners can have the flexibility to change, swap and upgrade for battery packs to tailor the change in use case for the car.
Instead of purchasing the Car and battery, car owners will be able to purchase the car and a battery subscription plan on a monthly charge. In my opinion this is service is a win for both NIO and its consumers.
The consumers get to purchase a car at a lower cost, making it more affordable upon purchase, and through monthly battery subscription plan, battery packs can be swapped in the power swap station, ensuring battery condition maintained at optimal condition. Another advantage for BaaS will be the ability to upgrade its battery pack as battery technology improves in the future years.
On the other hand, NIO will be able to benefit from the higher demand due to relatively more affordable car price (without battery). Monthly subscription service can form a recurring source of revenue for NIO, providing the earning visibility and stability in the future.
Currently NIO has 177 power swap stations and expect to increase the total power swap station count to increase to 500 power swap stations by end of 2021.
Improvement in battery swap station – NIO Power Swap Station 2.0
NIO unveiled the new NIO Power Swap Station 2.0 featuring 13 pieces of batteries within the station, and equipped with 13 pieces of battery, increasing the maximum capacity to 312 swaps per day, which is 4 times quicker than existing Power Swap Station. Assuming the station works 24 hours a day, it implies that the swap process will take approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Compared to the current generation Power Swap Station, the new Power Swap Station 2.0, NIO car will have the ability to enter the station automatically with a click of a button without the need to exit the vehicle. This is a major improvement and time saver as compared to current process, where a NIO technician must drive the car into the station, and the car to be lifted to start the swapping process.
150kWh Battery Pack
NIO unveiled 150kWh battery pack, which uses solid state battery, improving the energy density to 360Wh/kg. Just for reference, Tesla Model 3’s battery density is around 260Wh/kg. This is a significant improvement to the range, reducing range anxiety. The deliveries of the 150kWh battery pack will be made in Q4 2022. This is slightly ahead of Tesla’s expected timeline for the launch of its own solid-state battery (estimated to be available in about three years).
Based on the presentation, range will improve to 850km for ES8 (SUV), and exceeding 1,000km for the new car sedan ET7. Note that the range is based on New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) estimates, which translates into approximately 594miles to 700miles using a 1.43x factor as a rough estimate.
Exciting news for NIO shareholders, as NIO cars maybe equipped with solid-state battery before Tesla car does.
Unveil of NIO eT7
NIO unveiled its first sedan model – NIO eT7, which is a premium sedan equipped with next generation sensors ready for the autonomous future.
In the presentation, the William Li (CEO of NIO) mentioned the car’s aims to be “Second Living Room” and to achieve key traits of “spacious cozy refined and human”. It is obvious that the futuristic outlook, and the premium cabin is consistent with the overall brand strategy of being a premium brand.
Key stats of NIO eT7
Wheelbase: 3,066 mm
Width: 1, 987mm
Range: 1,000+ km
Power/ Horsepower: 480kW
Some key features highlighted during the presentation (Standard option)
– UWB digital key – seamless proximity unlocks car door
-Soft closing door
-Front and rear heating seats
-23 speaker 1000kw output, 7.1.4 immersive sound system
– Smart air suspension
Pricing for NIO eT7
The price of et7 for 70kWh to be RMB 448,000, while 100kWh priced at RMB 506,000. This price is approximate price of BMW 5 series (locally produced) and Audi A6L models (locally produced).
The battery swap monthly fee to be at RMB 980 per month, which seem to be attractive plan where the price discount of RMB 70,000 is approximately 6 years’ worth of monthly subscription. Batteries will degrade as the car is being used. If the battery loses 2% of the range per year, a 6-year-old car will lose approx. 12% of its range. Using battery swap will ensure that the condition and range of the battery to be maintained.
NIO Autonomous Driving (NAD)
AQUILA sensor equipped on the new sedan NIO eT7. The sensor system uses image sensor plus LiDAR.
Below will be the hardware used:
ADAM – NIO computing
1,016 TOPS exceed 7 TESLA FSD computers combined, to support the multiple sensors of the AQUILA system. The autonomous driving function will adopt a subscription service as well, priced at RMB 680/month.
NIO day presentation mainly focus NIO eT7 and its autonomous driving. The core focus of providing convenience to the user can be felt throughout the presentation. NIO tries to improve the user experience by providing a premium product with great customer service.
The future 1 to 2 year for NIO will be exciting as customer base continues to grow and more car owners adopt BaaS, helping to improve company’s recurring income in the future.