On October 21, Chinese new energy vehicle firm NIO announced that it will offer a purchasing option for its ET7, EL7 and ET5 vehicle models in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden from November 21, to start delivery in early 2023. Information on the NIO app in Europe also shows that the four countries have started delivery for subscription service users.
At the beginning of October, NIO announced that it would enter Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden with a “subscription mode,” offering three models – the ET7, EL7 (ES7) and ET5 – with a rental period ranging from 1 month to 60 months. This plan was interpreted by the industry as a sales model allowing “only leasing but not selling.”
Regarding the matter, William Li, Chairman of NIO, responded, “At the NIO Berlin event, I only said that I would provide lease service, but I didn’t say that I wouldn’t offer buy option. In fact, this was planned to be done step by step, for it would be troublesome if we offered different models together in the early stage.”
According to media reports, NIO‘s subscription model in Europe has no price advantage. For example, the monthly subscription fees of ET7, EL7 and ET5 of 75 kWh battery packs in Germany at short rent prices are €1,549, €1,669 and €1,249 respectively. In the long-term subscription mode, the monthly subscription fees of ET7, EL7 and ET5 of the same battery packs in Germany are €1,199, €1,299 and €999 respectively. One German web user commented, “The car is good, but I can rent a Porsche at this price.”
Although the road is not smooth, NIO has chosen to firmly develop operations in Europe. In terms of infrastructure, it intends to complete power systems in the four countries. By the end of 2022, NIO plans to build 20 battery swapping stations in Europe and 120 by the end of 2023.
It will also adopt a mode of directly serving users in these four countries. The NIO Center in Berlin will soon open, and the NIO Center and NIO Space are being built in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and other cities.
NIO will continue to increase its R&D investment in Europe. In July, it established an innovation center in Berlin for intelligent cockpits, automated driving and energy technology. In September, the NIO Power Europe Plant in Pest, Hungary, completed its first battery swapping station. The plant serves as the European manufacturing center, service center and R&D center for NIO power products.
“At a time when the world is increasingly fragmented and full of uncertainties, NIO has chosen a difficult road, and the front must be full of bumps and mud. But looking farther away, we can see hope and light,” William Li wrote on social media after the NIO Berlin event held in early October.