On the afternoon of January 16th, 2021, the China Electric Vehicle Hundred People Forum for senior executives was held in Beijing. Qin Lihong, the co-founder and president of NIO, delivered a speech online.
Qin Lihong expressed his gratitude for being able to hold such a gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic. NIO has participated in the Hundred People Forum six times, witnessing the development of the entire Chinese electric vehicle industry. He took this opportunity to briefly report on NIO’s growth.
As of the end of 2020, NIO had sold 43,728 vehicles, calculated by delivery to consumers, with a monthly record of more than 7,000 vehicles in December, achieving year-over-year doubling for nine consecutive months from April to December.
“Since the delivery of our first vehicle at the end of June 2018, NIO has delivered more than 75,000 vehicles to the market in the past two and a half years,” said Qin.
“In 2020, I know this number is small compared to many senior companies present here today, but it represents a small achievement for a Chinese brand in the luxury car market. NIO ranked 12th in sales volume among all major luxury brands in 2020, and fourth in retail price, slightly higher than BMW, Audi, Lexus, Tesla, and others,” he continued.
Qin also mentioned the brand-building achievement of NIO as a young company under the leadership of Chairman Li Xiang.
“In terms of business models, 2020 was a year of innovation for the closed-loop business model of NIO. With the attention of all our leaders and experts, we obtained national recognition for the separation of the vehicle and the electricity in June last year and took the lead in obtaining the product announcement of replaceable battery electric vehicles. In August, we launched the innovative service model of battery sales and rentals called Battery as a Service (BaaS). As of recently, nearly 50% of our new orders have been from BaaS users, which is highly regarded by everyone,” Qin explained.
“In November, we launched the 100kWh battery pack and opened up a retail upgrade plan for all users with more than 60,000 cumulative orders, enabling every consumer in the stock market to benefit from the battery upgrade technology. On January 3, this year, we released the used car system, which is a full-lifecycle rights plan for NIO users. Last week, on January 9, we announced that the next-generation autonomous driving will be offered as a subscription service, opening up a subscription service model,” Qin concluded.During the speech given by Mr. Maio, it was mentioned that with the development of intelligent, connected vehicles, services and software can serve as new business growth points, like hardware. We are actively exploring an integrated layout and experience of hardware, software, and services throughout the company’s operations. In terms of business planning, hardware, software, and services have their own relatively independent business plans to meet the needs of different consumer groups.
Thirdly, in terms of products and technology, we released the new generation ES8, mid-cycle upgrade ES6, and new coupe SUV EC6 last year. Earlier this year, we also unveiled our first sedan, the ET7. In one year, we released four new vehicle products, experiencing a transition from SUVs to sedans, and switching from the all-aluminum body to the steel-aluminum hybrid body platforms. Meanwhile, the ES6 won the car body design award from the German Automotive Industry Association.
Regarding battery technology, we and our partners worked together to launch a 70kWh battery pack in 2018 and an 84kWh battery pack in 2019. In 2020, we introduced a new 100 kWh battery pack and have begun bulk assembly for the market.
Recently, we also announced that in 2022, we will use the latest solid-state battery technology and a solid-liquid electrolyte technology route to launch a battery pack with 150 kWh of solid-state battery technology with an energy density of 360 Wh/kg, striving to push it onto the market in the fourth quarter of next year.
In four years, we have introduced four new battery products, and we have also used innovative business models to allow every NIO owner to flexibly choose each battery product to match their travel needs.
Regarding charging and swapping facilities, last year we launched the second-generation 7kW home AC charging pile and 20 kW home DC fast charging pile, which are very suitable for destination travel needs. Recently, using the 20 kW home DC fast charging pile, we deployed a total of 14 destination charging piles on National Highway 318 from Chengdu to the Everest Base Camp, covering a distance of 2,900 km and reaching an altitude of over 4,500 meters.
With the electric car starting from Chengdu and traveling to the Everest Base Camp via the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, the entire journey can be made with worry-free energy, and we will further strengthen this deployment.
In addition, we are also actively developing the second-generation NIO battery swap station, which is expected to be deployed in the market from March to April this year. Its service capacity will be four times that of our first-generation station, and it can achieve automatic connection with vehicles for one-click startup, automatic parking, automatic battery swapping, and unmanned operation, providing potential for NIO’s battery swap mode to enter the markets of developed countries in Europe and the United States in the future.
In terms of software, over the past year and a half, we have upgraded 39 versions, added 131 new features, optimized 280 existing functions, and pushed over 400,000 vehicle updates.Last August, we launched the NOP, an advanced ADAS navigation assistance system. So far, the total mileage of NIO’s advanced autonomous driving users has exceeded 100 million kilometers, and the system has been extensively tested in practice.
In 2022, in the early next year, we will launch the next generation of NIO’s autonomous driving system, which will be a leap from assisted driving to fully automated driving. With the release of ET7, we will provide an advanced system consisting of 11 8 million pixel ultra-high definition cameras and 33 sensors to enhance the autonomous driving experience.
We will also utilize the equivalent of 300 laser beams to detect obstacles at a distance of more than 500 meters, and for the first time, we will use a computing platform with the capability of over 1016 TOPS, to improve the level of autonomous driving.
In addition, NIO has been working closely with JAC Motors over the past few years and has established a good and innovative manufacturing process. The production stability and quality of NIO have been recognized by the JD Power independent new car quality survey, where ES8 and ES6 won the new car quality awards for two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020, proving that an innovative manufacturing process does not sacrifice quality or efficiency.
In the past year, we have been actively expanding our service network. As of now, we have more than 210 pre-sales dealerships, of which 150 were opened last year. We have more than 200 after-sales service stations and 178 battery swap stations. We plan to have 500 battery swap stations by the end of this year. We have installed nearly 50,000 home charging piles for our users, built 100 supercharging stations and installed almost 800 supercharging piles across the country. In addition, through the NIO App, we have connected more than 280,000 third-party fast charging piles, providing convenient travel for our users.
At the same time, we are actively preparing to expand globally. If the world’s epidemic situation does not worsen significantly in 2021, we hope that the NIO brand can start selling overseas in that year. We will continue to maintain our high-end brand image and direct sales model, providing direct services to our users.
After six years of development, NIO is still a small and innovative attempt in the automotive industry, and our scale and achievements are still very limited. After listening to the speeches of the leaders and experts today, I feel that our small achievements and thoughts over the past few years can serve as a footnote to the future, and may represent a new development model to capture the current market.
Finally, I would like to offer some minor suggestions at this forum organized by Bai Ren Hui.The widespread adoption of electric vehicles is currently restricted by the lack of public facilities and infrastructure. We have encountered many challenges in the layout of battery swapping stations and charging piles, despite the fact that the State Council identified them as key components of the “14th Five-Year Plan” for new infrastructure. However, there is currently no clear method for approving applications for these facilities in different regions or for dealing with uncooperative property managers.
If every consumer were able to install a home charging pile in their own parking space, I believe that the experience of charging an electric vehicle would surpass that of refueling a gasoline-powered car, and the widespread adoption of electric vehicles would be within reach.
Therefore, we hope that other professional organizations, as well as the Hundred People Association, can join forces with all of our automakers. We are willing to actively participate and establish a new organization, a new platform, to assist our consumers and help various enterprises make electric vehicle travel more worry-free.
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