NIO and Geely officially announce cooperation, is battery swap really going to happen?

NIO has another power-changing "ally".

Just now, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. and NIO Holdings Co., Ltd. signed a strategic cooperation agreement on battery swapping in Hangzhou. The two parties will work on battery swapping standards, battery swapping technology, battery swapping service network construction and operation, and battery swapping model research and development and customization. , battery asset management and operation and other fields to carry out comprehensive cooperation to create two major battery replacement standard systems for "private cars" and "commercial vehicles".

Geely Automobile has become the second company to cooperate with NIO in the field of battery swapping after Changan Automobile.

As for why Geely and Changan? These two families have one thing in common – they are rich.

The semi-annual reports of the two companies show that Geely Automobile's revenue in the first half of this year reached 73.182 billion yuan, Changan Automobile's revenue was 65.492 billion yuan, and NIO's revenue was only 8.772 billion yuan.

Secondly, Geely and Changan both have active exploratory attitudes towards different development directions of new energy vehicles .

In 2021, Changan's new energy strategy-"Shangri-La Plan" ushered in a historic moment. 100 Changan Eado EV460 battery-swapping taxis were officially put into operation, joining the ranks of Chongqing’s “yellow Ferraris”. Another 20 battery-swapping stations were opened simultaneously.

The following year, Ruilan Automobile, jointly established by Geely Automobile and Lifan Technology, officially entered the new energy battery swap track and launched 3 battery swap models and its GBRC battery swap platform. Cao Cao Travel made large-scale purchases.

But whether it is Geely or Changan, just that little wind and waves is not enough.

For the new energy vehicle market, which has an increasingly high penetration rate, the development of the battery swap model requires a large and complete infrastructure construction system. With the help of NIO’s existing battery swap network, Geely and NIO can enter more easily Battery replacement market.

It’s better to work together to stay warm than to fight alone.

Looking back at Weilai, they now choose to "form cliques". The reason is actually similar to opening charging piles.

At the NIO Power Day held in July this year, Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of NIO, asked us to focus on the public pile business.

NIO has always been the car brand with the largest number of public charging piles in China. As of July this year, NIO has opened a total of 16,700 public charging piles and deployed 150 high-speed supercharging stations (a total of 459 supercharging piles).

Qin Lihong then also talked about the layout of the 500kW ultra-fast charging piles released at NIO Day 2022: Since the first pile went online on April 17 this year, NIO has launched a total of 488 ultra-fast charging piles in 94 days.

It can be said that unlike some car companies that are vague about the layout of supercharging piles, NIO's attitude has always been that it is willing to do things and not talk empty words. In order to allow its users to have a better energy replenishment experience, the energy replenishment network is rapidly expanded almost regardless of cost.

But this has also laid hidden dangers for Weilai – low utilization, leading to serious losses. According to Everbright Securities research and calculations, for a typical 60kW DC pile, the utilization rate needs to reach 8.29% to reach the break-even point.

Therefore, for Weilai, which is already in a difficult period, charging piles must be opened.

According to the charging pile usage data disclosed by NIO in July, only 20% of charging users are NIO car owners, and other brands account for as much as 80%. Among them, BYD owners account for the highest proportion at 19.2%, followed by Tesla Car owners, accounting for 13.1%.

For Weilai, no matter the brand, we are all brothers in the world. Nowadays, the power swap service has moved from the private domain to the public service, which also makes Weilai breathe a sigh of relief.

Currently, NIO has 2,103 power swap stations in China. Based on Qin Lihong’s previous disclosure of a power swap station costing about 3 million yuan, NIO’s investment in “station building” alone is as high as 6.3 billion yuan, not including batteries. and daily operating expenses. Looking back at NIO's cash pool, as of the first half of this year, NIO's cash and cash equivalents were 13.72 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 7.18 billion yuan, and short-term borrowings reached 12.06 billion yuan.

This means that as the battery swap network continues to expand, battery swap stations will further “devour” NIO’s capital pool.

NIO Vice President Shen Fei once said: "As long as it can handle 50-60 orders a day, the battery swap station can break even." However, NIO's current average daily number of battery swaps per battery swap station is only 35-36 times. This means that if NIO cannot improve the efficiency of power swap stations, NIO’s operating pressure will increase exponentially as the number of power swap stations increases.

However, with the entry of Geely and Changan, Qin Lihong's words "Nio will not go bankrupt, and it is impossible to go bankrupt" seem to have become louder. Next, NIO will simultaneously promote two types of sites: an exclusive power swap network for NIO users and a power swap network for multi-brand sharing .

At this year’s NIO Power Day, Qin Lihong also said this:

In fact, every time I am asked about profitability, as the person in charge of NIO Energy, what do I think more about? How much value have we created by doing this? Because some values ​​can be measured with money now, while some values ​​may be long-term and difficult to measure with money.

If I count the income from service fees alone, I will definitely lose money on this line, but it allows users across the country to buy and use electric vehicles with confidence. This value is actually difficult to measure.

Anyone with wheels is interested and welcome to communicate. Email: [email protected]

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