We saw it coming. On November 3, we published rumors that Nio would expand to other markets and that the first Nio Store would be in Denmark. In January, Li Bin – Nio’s founder, also known as William Li – corrected that and said Nio’s first shop in Europe would be in Oslo. Now, the company will broadcast a news conference on May 6. We expect it to reveal the details of Nio’s global expansion.
The Chinese carmaker had already revealed that it wanted to be in all major EV markets by 2024. Apart from China, that means Europe and the US. The news conference could be restricted to the Norwegian market, but we expect to learn a lot more.
As our colleagues at CarNewsChina state, the main question Nio has to answer is if it will follow the same strategy for battery pack swapping stations it has in China, a country that incentivizes this solution. It would clearly be a mistake if it didn’t: that’s what makes Nio vehicles so unique in the EV landscape.
In order not to demand a massive investment right from the start, the company could begin its European invasion with the ES8, its flagship. That would give it time to establish the battery swapping station network for the ES6 and the EC6 to arrive at lower prices.
Another option would be for Nio to start selling the ES8 in Norway only with its 100 kWh battery pack that would rely solely on Norway’s charging infrastructure. When its presence in that country exceeds a critical number of cars, it can introduce the battery pack swapping stations for the ES6 and EC6 with smaller battery packs.
Something that Nio also has to clarify is its selling model. In China, it works with direct sales, like Tesla. The American company follows the same model in Europe, which means Nio could do the same. It will be more challenging when it starts selling its vehicles in the US, where some states forbid carmakers to sell directly to their customers.