“China’s Tesla” comes to Germany – and relies on the removable battery

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“China’s Tesla” comes to Germany – and relies on the removable battery

Chinese startup Nio invades Europe with luxury cars Chinese startup Nio invades Europe with luxury cars

Chinese startup Nio invades Europe with luxury cars

Source: NIO

The Chinese car manufacturer Nio wants to conquer the European market. This also includes the idea that the battery in the e-car always remains state-of-the-art and gives you more range on holiday. This puts European manufacturers under great pressure.

NGrandma has already learned German. The digital assistant is certainly the most striking element in the electric cars of the Chinese start-up Nio. She “lives” in a black ball on the dashboard, turns to the driver in conversation and winks with her two square eyes. When music is playing, small instruments, such as a guitar, appear and Nomi quietly plays along.

However, the rest of the party is not as playful as the on-board assistance. Nio, as shown by the launch of the brand in Europe, takes the transition to electromobility very seriously. The start-up was long celebrated on the stock market as a variant of Tesla in the Far East, but the price has since fallen sharply.

Despite this, Nio is still worth half as much as BMW on the stock exchange, even though the company has sold only 250,000 cars since its founding eight years ago. In good times, BMW manages this number in a month.

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But it’s about the future, and Nio wants to play the role of the benefactor, as corporate bosses William Li and Lihong Qin made clear at the big show at Tempodrom in Berlin: “We think we’re a global company,” Qin said in a statement. conversation with journalists. “Coming from China is not a contradiction in terms.” The claim is high, in Berlin the vehicles are offered in a shop right next to the Gedächtniskirche.

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The event in Berlin is also a statement for the western world, at least for the local car industry: the Chinese are coming to Europe, despite increasing geopolitical tensions and conflicts over human rights and raw materials. Like its main competitors in Germany, Qin also hopes to expand into global markets.

“The markets must remain open”

“As a company, we are too small to play a role in politics. But we prefer closer relations between the countries, the markets should remain open and everyone should talk to each other,” he says. The automotive industry is so globalized that no single country could build a perfect vehicle on its own. “International cooperation is a must in our industry.”

Nio has, among other things, a design center in Munich and branches in Great Britain and the US. The vehicles are produced in China. The cars have been on the market in Norway for a year. There, car testers were impressed by the technology. In the current ranking of the most innovative automakers by Stefan Bratzel’s Center of Automotive Management, Nio tops the list at 15th place. The Chinese are ahead of American competitors such as Rivian and Lucis.

Nio's digital assistant

Nio’s digital assistant “lives” in a black sphere on the dashboard

Source: NIO

A first look at the WELT AM SONNTAG car shows that the interior offers everything you would expect from a luxury class: mood lighting, massage seats, surfaces made from renewable raw materials (in this case flax). Striking is the very well-structured user interface of the control display in the middle.

Because the Nio has a powerful computer with modern software, it reacts immediately to touch. The display is brilliant, even when it comes to showing the car from a bird’s eye view – a detail fewer manufacturers have offered before.

The Tesla fighter from the Far East

International suppliers, including German companies such as Bosch, are also involved. The head of Germany after Nio, Hui Zhang, explains to WELT that there are 200 specialists working for Nio in the field of design and branding in Munich.

Source: WELT/Lukas Axiopoulos

The special feature of the manufacturer are the battery changing stations. In addition to cable charging, the Nio can replace the entire battery, which takes about five minutes. Nio has already set up two exchange stations in Germany and more will follow soon. This is how you want to take away the fear of reaching customers, says Qin.

It also comes with the promise that the battery in the car will always be state-of-the-art. It is offered as part of a lease contract with the car and can also be redeemed during the term. So Nio customers book a larger battery for the trip to vacation, and they can choose a smaller battery for everyday use – saving money.

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