Nio CEO William Li Breaks 8-Year Brand Loyalty Streak As He Takes Delivery From Rival Chinese EV Startup

Chinese EV maker Nio Inc‘s NIO CEO William Li has reportedly purchased a vehicle from its rival EV maker XPeng Inc XPEV.

What Happened: Li took delivery of his XPeng X9 in Hefei, Anhui Province, on May 11, CnEVPost reported. XPeng CEO He Xiaopeng personally delivered the vehicle to his rival CEO, the report added.

It is apparently Li’s first vehicle purchase from another brand in eight years. The X9 is a multi-purpose vehicle which can seat 7 people. It can also be used as a spacious 4-seater SUV.

The base version of the vehicle starts at 359,800 yuan ($49,733) while its higher-end version starts at 419,800 yuan ($58,024).

XPeng, Nio Rivalry: XPeng has delivered 31,214 smart EVs this year as of the end of April, representing a 23% year-on-year increase. In April alone, the company delivered 9,393 EVs, representing a 33% increase from last year.

Nio, meanwhile, sold 45,673 vehicles year-to-date this year, marking a jump of 21.2% from last year. The company sold 15,620 vehicles in April alone. The company, however, does not have any multi-purpose vehicles in its lineup.

Why It Matters: Nio, a luxury EV brand, is now set to introduce a new model aimed at the mass market by the end of this month, along with a smaller EV to be marketed in Europe next year for under $30,000.

The company is also known for employing battery swapping for its EVs, which Li believes will largely aid the company’s market value similar to how cloud services contribute to companies like Alibaba, Tencent, and Amazon now.

Li has also been previously noted as checking out rival vehicles including the Tesla Model 3. In September, pictures of him checking out the refreshed Tesla Model 3 at the IAA Mobility show in Munich circulated on social media. While some joked about it, others commended his enthusiasm for gauging the competition.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: SpaceX Starship Likely To Fly For 4th Time Next Month As Elon Musk Reaffirms New Goals

Photo courtesy: Nio

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Posted In: AsiaNewsTop StoriesMarketsTechelectric vehiclesEVsmobilityWilliam LiXpeng X9
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