Chinese EV maker Nio is planning to set up a battery asset management company to push for the separation of the car from the battery and launch a BaaS (Battery as a Service) offering on top of that, 36Kr reported on Thursday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
Nio will also bring in investment from large energy funds for the new company, which will be established in August and is currently seeking financing, the report said, adding that Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), China's largest automotive lithium-ion battery maker has already made clear its intention to invest.
Nio's battery asset company, which has been in the works for nearly six months, will be led by Nio Energy, a company formed to manage Nio's battery assets.
The company will be set up to manage Nio's power battery assets and help Nio separate the ownership of the vehicle and battery.
"In other words, the car and the battery can be sold separately. The ownership of the battery asset and the vehicle asset can be stripped away and the user does not need to own the battery," the report cited sources with knowledge of the matter as saying.
The battery assets can be put into a battery asset management company and the user only needs to rent batteries from the new company. Nio Energy is the equivalent of a battery asset operator, formulating BaaS offerings that meet different types of needs.
The report said the Nio BaaS product borrows ideas from mobile phone bill packages. Owners can choose from a variety of packages based on different mileage needs, and "the more you drive, the lower the average cost".
Nio CEO Li Bin has already preached the car-and-battery separation concept at several public events.
At the first-quarter financial results meeting, Li Bin said, "Nio's rechargeable, replaceable, upgradeable, battery as a service (BaaS) business model has made significant progress. Next, Nio will gradually achieve full car-to-battery separation in the third quarter, as required by the new national policy."
Nio is the only Chinese EV startup to adopt replaceable battery technology. So far, Nio has built 137 battery replacement stations, covering 61 cities across China.