NIO increased its global electric vehicle deliveries in March, but this time the year-over-year growth rate disappointed and the result itself is lower than in February.

Last month, the Chinese premium EV start-up delivered 10,378 cars, which is 3.9 percent more than a year ago.

The overwhelming majority of NIO sales are in China.

This level of sales, considering new models launched on the market and expansion to Europe, can't be described as strong, but maybe later this year the results will improve.

NIO reports also that its crossover/SUV sales amounted to 3,203 units (down 67 percent year-over-year), while electric sedan sales amounted to 7,175 (versus 163 units when the first sedans were introduced a year ago). NIO does not provide a breakdown between the individual models anymore.

NIO EV deliveries last month:

  • Crossover/SUVs (EC6, ES6, EC7, ES7, ES8): 3,203 (down 67% year-over-year)
  • Sedans (ET5, ET7): 7,175 (up from 163 a year ago)
  • Total: 10,378 (up 4% year-over-year)

NIO car sales – March 2023

So far this year, NIO delivered more than 31,000 electric vehicles, which is over 20 percent more than a year ago.

The decrease in crossover/SUV sales by 59 percent year-over-year is pretty worrying, but as we understand, it is related to the switch to next-generation vehicles. In other words, it might be temporary.

NIO EV deliveries year-to-date:

  • Crossover/SUVs (EC6, ES6, EC7, ES7, ES8) YTD: 10,430 (down 59% year-over-year)
  • Sedans (ET5, ET7) YTD: 20,611 (up from 163 a year ago)
  • Total YTD: 31,041 (up 20.5% year-over-year)

For reference, in 12 months of 2022, NIO sold more than 122,000 electric cars globally:

Cumulatively, NIO sold 320,597 electric cars (the 300,000th car was produced on December 12).

It's worth noting that NIO is in a transition period from NT 1.0 platform (EC6, ES6, ES8) to the new NT 2.0 platform: ES7 (in Europe known as EL7), ET5, ET7, new ES8 (deliveries from June 2023), and EC7 (deliveries from May 2023). According to the Chinese media, NIO discounts some of the older NT 1.0 models. At the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show, NIO intends to present the new ES6 (EL6 in Europe), based on the NT 2.0 platform.

NIO also reports that, as of March 31, its network includes 1,339 battery swap stations and some 1,285 fast charging stations (6,467 individual stalls). The number of destination charging stations amounted to 1,154 (7,993 individual stalls).

The plan is to install additional 1,000 battery swap stations in 2023 for a total of over 2,300 by the end of the year. On March 28, 2023, NIO rolled out the deployment of the third-generation Power Swap station in China, with each station having a service capacity of up to 408 swaps per day.

The battery swap infrastructure is used not only for long-distance travel but also to upgrade vehicles from a lower battery capacity to a higher battery capacity. According to CnEVPost, NIO is currently encouraging customers in China to switch from a 70-kilowatt-hour (kWh) or 75-kWh battery to a 100-kWh unit at a discount. In this business model, batteries belong to NIO, while users have to pay a monthly fee to use their cars.

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