NIO Said to Establish Battery Asset Management Company, CALT Expected to Invest

NIO (Source: Vicki Thompson)

Shanghai-based EV maker NIO is setting up a battery asset management company in August to boost the separation of cars and electricity and launch BaaS (Battery as a Service) products, sources with knowledge of the plan disclosed to Chinese Tech Media 36Kr.

NIO has been mapping out the plan for almost half a year and is seeking to raise funds for the newly found company. Among potential investors, China’s largest automotive lithium-ion battery maker, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), showed a strong inclination to invest, people familiar with NIO said.

The new company is expected to take over the power battery assets of NIO and help its parent company separate the ownership of the vehicles and battery assets.

According to 36Kr, NIO commented that there is not much information to share and any plan will be updated through the company’s official announcement. CATL declined to respond.

At the first-quarter financial report performance meeting in 2020, Li Bin, chairman and CEO of NIO, envisioned a promising future for the new company.

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“NIO’s battery service business model of rechargeable, replaceable, upgradeable, and vehicle electricity separation (BaaS) has made remarkable progress. NIO will gradually achieve the full separation of vehicles and electricity in the third quarter under the new national policy,” Li said.

On April 23, China’s Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and other departments jointly issued a new subsidy policy for the promotion and application of new energy vehicles, supporting the development of new business models adopting the separation of vehicles and electricity. NIO is said to be the only domestic EV firm qualified to receive the subsidy.

Up to now, NIO has built 137 battery swap stations, covering 61 cities in China, 36Kr reported.