Hello and welcome to your daily Charge Smart blog! Today, we will be taking a look at some news from Nio, the trouble Chinese EV manufacturer.
Above: Nio's EP9 supercar
Poor Nio, the once promising Chinese electric car manufacturer just can’t seem to catch a break these days. On our blogs, we have previously talked about Nio's troubles and how they weren’t reflective of EVs but instead of the company’s ruthless spending on frivolous items. They had literally spent their way into trouble.
Fans of the brand will be pleased to note that sales did pick up for them in the third quarter of last year where Nio sold 4,799 cars. Out of which, a huge majority of 4,196 cars were their ES6 SUV model. It may not be a big number to most car manufacturers but it is at least a start for Nio, the figure is a huge improvement over the numbers they’ve seen in the past. The company have already cut a number of jobs because of their history of losing large amounts of money. They are also reducing the size of their ‘Nio houses’ or super fancy dealerships which included lounge areas for their customers to create music and art. They recognised that these were huge financial drains for the company and took some steps to reduce what they were spending but Nio still lost $352.8 million USD over that quarter. They have already stated that they do not have enough of cash to continue operating for another year unless they land some new investments or take on more loans.
Nio is working on a new model and a refresh for one of their existing models in the meantime. The company are planning a coupe SUV called the EC6 which will have a very impressive 614 kilometre range from a 100kW battery pack. Giving it a 0-100 time of 4.7 seconds. That’s going to be one to look out for. They are also planning an update for their large ES8 SUV which will include upgrading its range to around 580 kilometres. However, the updated ES8 is only predicted to arrive in April this year and the all new EC6 won’t be in Nio houses before September and by then, it could be too late to save the Chinese brand. And while, one could believe that Nio might be able to turn their sales around over the next year, there’s one big thing standing in their way.
Above: The first batch of Chinese made Model 3s have already been delivered
Tesla becomes the thorn in Nio's side
That obstacle is called Tesla and they have just started production at their Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China. Something that could change the game for EVs in that market. Tesla have already delivered several Shanghai made Model 3s to customers. Largely, Nio and Tesla don’t really compete in the same segments so should Nio be worried? Essentially, yes! Tesla have a highly established brand all over the world and they have become the go-to name for EVs over the last few years, they have an incredible brand image. Add this on to the fact that their Model 3 at least is competitively priced and Nio’s reputation as a homegrown Chinese brand doesn’t seem like enough to compete.