Nio, one of the hottest electric vehicle makers based in China, has finally started the process of expanding overseas. Its first target is Norway, where it is launching an electric model and a host of services. Five more European countries have been lined up after the Nordic nation.
The model Nio is launching in Norway is the ES8, an SUV. It has a range between 248 miles and 311 miles, based on a 100 kWh battery. While the price has not been announced yet, Nio may be able to sell at reduced price by offering the battery as a service, like it does in China. Reservation will be open in September, with delivery to follow shortly after that.
The ET7 sedan will follow next year and have the distinction of being the first mass produced EV to use solid state batteries.
While Norwegians will be able to order the ES8 online, Nio will build multi-purpose showrooms in popular locations, with the first one billed for Oslo. They will be called Nio Houses and offer café and children play areas, conference rooms and even libraries. Nio hopes to cultivate a fan following, like Tesla.
In addition to the introduction of the ES8, Nio is bringing over its battery swapping solution to Norway. The solution has been used extensively in China, where more than 2 million swaps have been completed, with the process lasting about three minutes. Nio will build four stations for swapping batteries in Oslo this year and 12 more in other locations. Nio will set up a fast charging network too.
Nio will also set up servicing centers and locations where customers can take delivery of the cars they ordered online. Five of such centers will be up and running before the year runs out. Drive-in or tow-in repairs will be complemented by a mobile service for owners that may be too busy for in-person service. To ensure more reach, Nio will form partnerships with 3rd-party repair shops.
Nio’s Norway operation will be headed by Marius Hayler.
Nio claimed to be attracted to Norway because of the long strides the country has made in renewable energy and e-mobility. Norway is ahead of all other nations in EV adoption, thanks to its more aggressive policies. More than half of the new cars sold in the country in April were electric. It is the perfect stepping stone to other part of the world for a company like Nio.