NIO to expand to European market
The Chinese rival to Tesla is expected to start European operations this summer.
NIO has set up a European base of operations in Norway, making it the first country outside China to offer NIO vehicles for sale. If there's enough interest, the company expects to expand to other parts of Europe such as UK.
Currently, the only cars available for purchase in Europe will be the ES8 SUV and the ET7 saloon, with pre-orders for the latter set to begin in July, while first deliveries are expected to be in September.
Alongside operating in Norway, the company is planning on developing a network of its revolutionary battery-swap systems, with the first four stations set to go into operation by the end of 2021, and twelve more set to arrive in 2022. The company hopes to create a network of such stations across five cities in the nation.
In regards to a potential entry in the UK market, European Vice President of NIO Hui Zhang stated, “We would only enter once conditions were right, we have the after sales and customer service infrastructure. The NIO houses, valet charging, NIO app are a key element of our offering in China so we have to consider what works in the UK.
There are other considerations; the need for right hand drive requires additional engineering for a limited number of markets. We will continue to consider the benefits.”
To be honest, I'm actually excited to have NIO come to Europe, especially because this means that charging a vehicle using the battery swap stations will take just under 3 minutes, meaning that you don't have to wait a lifetime at a motorway service station for your car to recharge.