"Now that NIO's average unit sales price is about RMB 150,000 higher than Tesla's in China, our customers are not quite the same class of user as Tesla, and there's a significant differentiation in the brand range," NIO founder, chairman, and CEO William Li Bin said at the launch of NIO's 100-degree battery pack on November 6.
He said that NIO's average selling price is already above RMB 400,000, indicating that he believes NIO's customer base is richer than Tesla's.
Li probably didn't expect to get a quick response from his rivals to his remarks.
A dozen hours later, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted, "420 is ten times better than 42."
Musk's tweets were seen as targeting NIO, as Tesla's share price fell to $420 per share that day, while NIO's rose to $42 per share against the trend.
This is the first time the 2 new car makers have faced each other on the Internet, with Musk's tweets seen as targeting NIO.
NIO stock has been one of the best performers so far this year. As of Tuesday, the company's stock is up 995% year-to-date, outpacing Tesla.
So far this year, Tesla's stock is up a total of 403%, while the S&P 500 has accumulated a 9.9% gain.
Even though NIO's market capitalization has been questioned as inflated, that doesn't stop it from continuing to gain traction in the capital markets.
Until February of this year, NIO was in the news for late payrolls, massive layoffs and additional bond issuances, indicating that the company's capital chain was very tight.
Later NIO announced a huge investment from the Hefei government to resurrect from near-death status.
With the signing of the early 7 billion yuan strategic investment agreement and capital in place, NIO sales from the trough quickly rebounded, from the monthly sales of only 700 units in February this year, to October surpassed 5,000 units.
It is worth noting that NIO's previously controversial battery swap model business growth is evident, is also believed to bring more confidence to investors.
NIO now has 159 battery swap stations across the country and has already completed 1.18 million battery swaps.
According to the plan, NIO will build 300 battery swap stations in the country next year. At the launch on September 6, there were investors present, including Lenovo Ventures and FAW Capital, "There are many investors who want to invest in our Weineng battery company now," Li said at the scene.
Wuhan Weineng Battery Assets Co., Ltd. is a joint investment by NIO, CATL, Guotai Junan, and Hubei Province Science and Technology Investment Group Co.
The 100kWh battery released by NIO is expected to further promote the development of NIO battery swap model.
Equipped with the 100kWh battery pack, the NEDC range of NIO models will be significantly increased.
The new ES8 with a 100kWh battery has a range of 580km, the ES6 to 610km, and the EC6 up to 615km.
Prior to that, its products had a large range of basically 420 km.
In addition, the 100kWh battery also uses new technologies such as no heat spreading and all-day temperature control to improve efficiency and ensure safety.
According to the program, NIO will not only allow new buyers to order a car equipped with a 100 kWh battery but will also give all existing car owners the option to upgrade to a 100 kWh battery model with an upgrade or buyout.
By purchasing a car equipped with a 70kWh battery through the BaaS model, users can lower the price of the car by RMB 70,000, with Users through the BaaS model to buy a 100kWh battery models, car prices can be NIO launched a flexible battery upgrade program, 70kWh battery users have the flexibility to upgrade the 100kWh battery by monthly battery rental service fee of 1,480 yuan.
NIO launched a flexible battery upgrade program, 70kWh battery users have the flexibility to upgrade the 100kWh battery monthly. It is worth noting that NIO will follow a certain order in carrying and delivering the 100 kWh battery as it takes time to climb up the production capacity.
It is important to note that NIO will follow a certain order for loading and delivery of 100 kWh battery packs, as it takes time to ramp up the capacity of the battery pack.
Starting from December this year, NIO will start mass delivery of 100 kWh battery packs, with priority given to new car option users and permanent upgrade users.
The release of the 100 kWh battery pack and upgrade plan realizes NIO's vision of a battery that can be recharged, battery swappable and upgradeable, but the profitability of the battery swap model has always been a major problem.
Previously a media estimate, NIO in the battery swap station business investment has more than 500 million. And because before the battery swap rights adjustment on October 12 this year, NIO launched a lifetime free battery swap for car owners, this business is considered to be a net loss.
But NIO doesn't seem to be too concerned about this.
"Overall, the battery swap station is not an unacceptable pressure on us at the moment as we consider it sustainable and fully taken into account in the overall financial model."
Li said that from the perspective of operational efficiency, NIO is more interested in how many people use the battery swap station, which is more important to NIO, so NIO battery swap station and the external service platform such as the Olympic has this different business logic.
Shen Fei, vice president of power management at NIO, said that NIO hopes to create more efficient value through the battery swap station.
"The battery swap station is now three parking spaces, and the current average in Shanghai and Beijing is about 60 orders a day," Shen said.
For a 70kWh battery, each unit consumes 50kWh, which means three parking spaces use 3,000kWh of electricity a day, and an average of one parking space is 1,000kWh of electricity. This level is almost five times the level of fast-charging piles and super-charging piles, Shen said, adding that the value created is quite cost-effective, how to perform financially is another matter, early to create the value.
However, this does not mean that NIO does not want a battery swap station to generate revenue at all.
Li pointed out that NIO currently charges for the battery swap service for used car users and non-first-time owners, and after adjusting the battery swap entitlement for new owners on October 12, also charges a service fee for more than six battery swaps per month.
"Within the overall revenue, NIO has looked at this fee as an operating revenue," Li said. But NIO didn't give a specific timeframe for when the battery swap model will break even.