Chinese electric carmaker Nio is reportedly planning to launch a third electric vehicle brand that would cover the low- to mid-range market, priced under RMB200,000 ($A40,000).
Nio, which was launched only in 2016 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, already sells a number of electric vehicles including three electric SUVs, the EP9 sportscar and ET7 full size sedan, and has only just planned another “mass-market” sub-brand called Alps.
It also offers its drivers the opportunity to lower the price of its Nio EVs by entering into a “battery-as-a-service” arrangement in which drivers can swap the battery at the company’s swap stations.
Now, it would seem it is looking for yet another way to make EVs affordable for the masses.
According to CnEVPost, referencing local Chinese reports from people familiar the matter, Nio is in the planning stages of launching a third EV brand to sit alongside its existing Nio and Alps brands.
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According to one source, speaking to local media outlet 36Kr, the resulting three Nio sub-brands including Nio, Alps, and the new unnamed sub brand, would be similar to the stepped matrix of Lexus, Toyota, and Suzuki within the Toyota Group.
While it is still very much in the rumour mill stage, Nio’s third EV brand would cover the low- to mid-range market, said to be between 100,000 and 200,000 yuan – which would convert to around the $A20,000 to $A40,000 range here in Australia.
Similar to Nio’s other brands, the brand would be run independently with its own CEO and R&D system. Nio is reportedly already recruiting a core team to run the brand.
In July, Nio also unveiled a 500kW ultra-fast-EV charger that it plans to roll out in China and Europe.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.