Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker NIO today announced its BaaS (Battery as a Service) battery rental service, which eliminates the need for buying the battery for all NIO models and reduces the price of a car by at least RMB 70,000 yuan (about $10,000).
If customers choose not to purchase a battery, they will have to pay a monthly service fee of RMB 980 yuan for the entry-level 70KWh power pack.
At the NIO BaaS launch event on August 20, NIO founder Li Bin said the company had deployed 143 battery swap stations in more than 60 cities as of that day, enabling more than 800,000 battery swap services, "and now there are thousands of battery swap services every day."
Li Bin said that the idea of separating the ownership of the car's body and the battery so that the battery can be replaced and upgraded has been there since 2015, and now it has finally come true.
To put it simply, customers can apply for loans only for the car's body, and to use the battery they just pay a monthly service fee.
Taking NIO's current main sales model EC6 for example, Li Bin said the price can be reduced by 70,000 yuan on purchase and the owner will only have to pay a battery rental service fee of 980 yuan per month.
Such a model is carried in a separately established battery asset company - the Wuhan Weineng Battery Asset Co.
Its shareholders include NIO's Chinese operating entity NIO (Anhui) Holdings Ltd, China's largest automotive lithium-ion battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), Guotai Junan Securities and Hubei Science and Technology Investment Group Co.
CATL acquired a 25% equity stake and directorship with RMB200 million investment. Separately, according to local media reports, the other three companies hold the same 25 percent stake in the company.
For the benefits of BaaS services, Li Bin said that, first, this can systematically solve battery degradation; second, users can also continue to enjoy the battery upgrade bonus; and third, they can also improve the vehicle value retention rate.