NIO has made battery replacement

In 138 BC, Zhang Qian was ordered to go to the Western Regions when he was in danger.

Departing from Chang'an, passing through the Xiongnu, heading west to Dawan, passing through Kangju, and finally arriving at Da Yuezhi, fulfilling the mission. Zhang Qian traveled to the Western Regions and opened up the earliest Silk Road in history.

▲ Picture from: Dunhuang Academy

After the 2nd century AD, with the arrival of the Han and Tang Dynasties, the Silk Road reached its peak. The Silk Road has become an important bridge for trade and cultural exchanges between the East and the West, and it has also become China's first road to the world.

Today, two thousand years later, we have already bid farewell to the past of "ancient road and thin horse". Stepping into the era of new energy vehicles, NIO has rewritten the legendary land silk road in its own unique way.

On the eve of NIO Power Day, NIO officially announced the news of the completion of the "Silk Road" power line. Starting from Xi'an to the west, passing Mogao Grottoes, Tianchi Lake, Sailimu Lake, and finally arriving at Horgos, the whole journey is 3133 kilometers, and a total of 33 charging and swapping stations have been deployed.

Ancient and modern time and space intertwined, a legendary Power Journeys opened the prelude to this year's NIO Power Day.

Battery replacement has become the car owner's favorite energy supplement method

The core of NIO Power is Chargeable, Swappable and Upgradeable.

Qin Lihong took Weilai's charging and swapping layout as the beginning of this year's NIO Power.

The charging situation is mentioned above.

From point to point, home charging has always been one of the most important charging scenarios for Weilai users. So far, Weilai's home charging pile users have exceeded 197,500, and 197,500 home charging pile users account for 50% of the total number of Weilai cars.

Qin Lihong revealed that NIO will stick to the route of DC home charging piles in the future, so that DC charging will gradually replace AC charging. NIO will provide users with three options of DC charging piles: 20kW, 11kW and 7 kW. Qin Lihong believes that the advantages of DC charging piles are not only reflected in the speed of energy replenishment, but more importantly, one interface can be reduced on the vehicle body to achieve the effect of reducing the weight of the vehicle body.

Focusing on the public charging pile business, Weilai has always been the auto brand with the largest number of public charging piles in China. Weilai currently has a total of 16,700 public charging piles opened, and has deployed 150 high-speed supercharging stations (a total of 459 supercharging piles).

Interestingly, Weilai gave a usage data of its charging piles. Statistics show that only 20% of Weilai car owners use their own charging piles, and 80% of car owners serve other brands. Among them, BYD (19.2%) and Tesla (13.1%) are the top three.

"Reject futures" is Qin Lihong's promise to NIO car owners.

Qin Lihong talked about the layout of the 500kW ultra-fast charging piles released on NIO Day 2022. Since the first 500kW super-charging piles went online on April 17 this year, a total of 488 piles have been deployed in 94 days. In the next 100 days, NIO plans to install 500 ultra-fast charging piles. Compared with some car companies on the market who are ambiguous about the layout of supercharged piles, Weilai has always maintained a steadfast and hard-working attitude and does not talk empty words.

Battery swapping has always been Weilai's "golden brand name". Qin Lihong started to talk about Weilai's battery swapping business after transitioning from charging.

NIO’s battery swap business has achieved outstanding results this year. During the Spring Festival this year, NIO launched a high-speed free battery swap service during the Spring Festival. From January 13th to January 20th, the number of high-speed free battery swaps exceeded 110,000; on July 14, 2023, NIO’s battery swaps officially reached 25 million times.

The huge power exchange level is inseparable from the strong support of the power station. The construction of Weilai power stations is fast enough. On June 25 this year, the number of Weilai power stations just exceeded 1,500. On the day of NIO Power Day, the total number of Weilai power stations has reached 1,564, and it is expected to exceed 1,600 next week.

Qin Lihong further revealed the latest situation of the battery swap service. As of NIO Power Day, the total number of battery swaps in Weilai reached 25,334,943 times, and a Weilai car was fully charged in an average of 1.6 seconds.

The interesting point is also the penetration rate of Weilai users who use battery replacement to replenish energy. According to the data given by NIO, at the beginning of 2022, the penetration rate of NIO car owners’ battery swapping exceeded 50% for the first time, and in June of this year, this figure reached 60%. Battery swapping has become the favorite way for NIO car owners to replenish energy.

Battery swap service upgrades, paving the way for solid-state batteries

Of course, with the increase in the penetration rate of battery replacement users, NIO also took the initiative to upgrade the battery service.

Weilai first optimized the automatic parking for battery swapping. In the third quarter of this year, Weilai will support the function of one-parking into the power station. Qin Lihong revealed that through the update of the one-parking function, the speed of battery swapping of Weilai models can be increased by about 40%.

At the same time, NIO has optimized the efficiency of the second-generation power station. At the NIO Day 2022 conference, NIO has reduced the battery swap time of the third-generation station by 20% by reducing the platform height of the third-generation station (100mm), collaborative design of three stations, and optimizing the battery flow path. Now, Weilai's second-generation power station will be fully accelerated, and the overall power replacement speed can reach the level of the third-generation station.

In the fourth quarter of this year, NIO will also upgrade the function of "swapping battery without interruption". During the battery swapping process, the swapping station will maintain the power supply for the car during the battery swapping process, providing car owners with air supply, audio-visual entertainment and other functions to solve the user's pain points in battery swapping.

The highlight is the adjustment of Weilai's flexible battery upgrade policy. Weilai has taken the initiative to reduce the granularity of battery upgrades, and will launch a daily rental system for battery packs across the country from now on. Weilai will provide three payment plans for car owners who choose to upgrade their batteries, 50 yuan/day, 880 yuan/month and 9,800 yuan/year.

In 2021, Weilai officially launched a battery upgrade service. In July of this year, NIO's battery upgrade service was used only 19,000 times. However, this number has grown by leaps and bounds since then. As of today's NIO Power Day, the battery upgrade service has exceeded 80,000 times. After reducing the granularity of battery upgrades, NIO believes that battery upgrade services will usher in explosive growth.

Qin Lihong believes that the battery pack daily rental system can lower the threshold for battery pack upgrades and attract more car owners to choose battery upgrade services. When the demand for battery pack upgrades is wide open, users' acceptance of battery rental services will increase, which paves the way for Weilai's 150-degree solid-state batteries that will be "only rented and not sold" in advance.

However, although Weilai has been warming up for 150-degree solid-state batteries for a long time, the difficulty of getting solid-state batteries into the car has clearly exceeded the expectations of Weilai's internal team. According to 36 Krypton's exclusive report, Weilai will postpone the mass production of self-made batteries and slow down the purchase of battery equipment. The obstacles to self-made batteries and the shortage of funds are expected to affect the progress of mass production of 150-degree solid-state batteries.

V2G two-way charging pile released

Although there is no 150-degree solid-state battery, NIO released a brand new charging product on NIO Power Day – 20kW V2G two-way charging pile.

The new V2G charging pile can not only quickly charge the vehicle, but also add a discharge function. The electric vehicle absorbs electric energy when the grid load is low, and releases electric energy when the grid load is high, realizing the positive interaction between the vehicle and the grid.

With the support of the two-way charging mechanism, users can choose a lower-cost home charging pile to charge and supplement the vehicle, and sell the excess power to the grid through the V2G charging pile to obtain additional income.

In essence, with the help of V2G two-way charging piles, Weilai defines the tram battery as an energy storage unit, allowing Weilai Ecology to enter the power grid to take on the role of "shaving peaks and filling valleys", thereby improving the efficiency and reliability of the power grid.

In fact, Weilai is not the first car company to make efforts on two-way charging piles.

The concept of two-way charging has a considerable number of car companies paying attention. At Tesla's investor conference this year, Tesla's technical VP Drew Baglino revealed that Tesla is paying close attention to the possibility of two-way charging. In the past, this may not have been a priority, but at present, Tesla's internal team has found a solution to realize two-way charging at a lower cost.

It is expected that in the next two years, Tesla will add two-way charging to all its models.

In addition to Tesla, the traditional car company Ford is one step ahead in the V2G/V2H field. Ford offers an optional two-way charging option on the F-150 pickup truck. Owners can choose to purchase Ford's $1,300 V2H accessory—WallBox.

With the home power integration system, the owner can seamlessly connect the Ford F-150 to the power supply of his house. If the house has a power outage, this set of two-way charging equipment can provide the house with up to 130 kW/h of electricity and take over the power supply of the house.

It should be the consensus of the whole world to regard the tram as the next unit of energy storage. Weilai, this time, is ahead of domestic car companies.

Selected face-to-face Q&A for the media

Dong Chehui participated in the 2023 NIO Power Day face-to-face at the official invitation of NIO today (July 20). The following is a summary of Q&A selections.

Q1: NIO's insistence on changing the circuit can be described as resolute. What kind of situation is our cost, and what kind of expectations does NIO have for profitability?

A1: In fact, I will be asked about profitability every time. As the person in charge of Future Energy, I (Qin Lihong) actually think more about what is it? That is, how much value have we created by doing this? Because some values ​​can be measured by money at the moment, and some values ​​may be in a relatively long period of time, which is difficult to measure by money. Maybe I simply calculate his income from this charging service fee. I must be losing money on this line, but it allows users all over the country, and even electric vehicle users across the country, to buy and use this electric vehicle with confidence. The value is actually difficult to measure.

Q2: After the power exchange rights are cancelled, what will happen to the number of battery exchanges? Does this have any impact on our subsequent station building and operation model?

A2: Although the battery replacement rights have been adjusted, old users can still have this right. So there is a high probability that although some users may use this right to offset the purchase of a new car, but in general I feel that it will not decrease, because new users are actually working hard to increase. Anyway, we will continue to publish these data anyway. We can observe it, and I judge that it will not change.

Q3: It is possible that other car companies are also deploying this battery replacement business. Then I would like to ask, do you think that under such circumstances, they may not only be under construction alone, but may also be jointly under construction. Under such circumstances, what do you think is the biggest advantage of the future power station? So where does the pressure come from?

A3: The biggest advantage is that we are really providing battery replacement services. The biggest pressure comes from it (other car companies that do battery replacements) as a latecomer. Our entire battery replacement, for example, the bolt structure, the underlying structure was developed in 1516, so companies that are new to technology iterations may have a latecomer advantage.

Q4: Everyone is very concerned about the issue of the 150-degree battery, and then I saw some news that it will be put into the battery swap system in the past two months. Then you said just now that this is not an issue to be discussed today, so I will ask a general question, including, for example, the location and the price. What are the plans? Is there some information that can be disclosed?

A4: It is true that the entire development and final demonstration of the 150-degree battery is indeed a little longer than we expected before. We originally said that it would be the end of July, but now it seems that we need to wait a little longer. Of course, we will also consider that after the 150-degree battery comes out, it will be more widely available to a certain extent, and our car owners will not be under financial pressure when using this 150-degree battery. So this is worth a special communication before our 150-degree battery pack is installed.

Q5: What impact will the launch of daily rental packages have on our operating pressure and distribution ratio? Then there is another question: what is the distribution ratio data of the latest large and small battery packs?

A5: This flexible upgrade, from monthly rent to daily rent, its difficulty is geometric progression. Daily rental will definitely greatly increase our operation and scheduling pressure. But why didn't we open it in the first place? What about annual rent or monthly rent? In fact, it is because we need to accumulate experience in the process of monthly rent.

Q6: The rights and interests of car owners have been adjusted this year. What is the current feedback from users after the adjustment?

A6: Users should be pretty good as we expected, that is, people who need to change their batteries will continue to buy this service package; for user groups who do not want to buy this service package, the entry price of the entire car has been reduced. I think this is a more reasonable plan.

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