It's not the first time for NIO to sign a deal with oil giants, as it already partners with Sinopec and CNPC. The first NIO battery swap stations are already installed at Sinopec and CNPC fuel stations.
Battery swap stations in China and Europe
The main point of the partnership appears to be NIO's battery swapping system. The two partners intend to jointly construct and operate swapping facilities.
The plan is to develop a network of co-branded battery swapping stations. The target for China is 100 sites by 2025, starting with two pilot sites.
Shell says that additional battery swap stations might be installed at its charging hubs, while Shell Recharge fast chargers will be installed at NIO sites.
"NIO and Shell will develop a network of co-branded battery swap stations. Cooperation in China will start with two pilot sites and aim to reach 100 sites by 2025, as well as additional co-branded battery swap stations at Shell EV charging hubs and Shell Recharge fast chargers at NIO locations. Cooperation in Europe will start from exploring pilots in 2022 and scaling rapidly subject to success."
The battery swap stations will be installed jointly also in Europe (starting in 2022), where NIO expands (currently in Norway, with a plan to enter more markets in 2022). The two intend to start with pilot stations and then scale rapidly depending on the outcome.
Gallery: NIO Battery Swap Stations
Another point of cooperation is charging infrastructure. Specifically, in Europe, Shell will provide access to charging infrastructure:
"In Europe, Shell and NIO will collaborate on integrating the Shell Recharge Mobility Service Provider (MSP), providing customers access to one of Europe’s largest roaming EV charging networks through Shell Recharge Solutions (formerly NewMotion). "
Other topics of cooperation are under consideration:
"In the meantime, NIO and Shell will continue to explore more collaboration opportunities in battery asset management, fleet management, membership system, home charging services, advanced battery charging and swapping technology development, and construction of charging facilities in China."
William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO said:
“The cooperation demonstrates Shell’s determination to accelerate the energy transition and commitment to contribute to sustainable development globally. We believe that the cooperation between NIO and Shell will bring better services and experience to electric vehicle users worldwide.”
István Kapitány, global executive vice president of Shell Mobility, mentioned:
"Decarbonization is a global challenge that requires broad-reaching, multi-faceted global solutions. This is the most exciting thing about our new partnership with NIO—the breadth of the collaboration and the value we can offer our EV customers together, both in Europe and in China. Together, we'll be working to improve every aspect of the EV experience. This means we’ll offer Shell Recharge high-speed charging at NIO locations and make battery swap available at convenient Shell locations while also offering NIO customers our best home and business charging solutions."
NIO announced earlier this year that by 2025, it intends to have 4,000 battery swap stations (including 1,000 outside China). The standard should also be available for other manufacturers (but at this point we don't know whether they will sign in). The first station in Norway is already under construction.