Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio Inc. NIO has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) to cooperate in smart EV technology research, cnEVpost reported Sunday.
What Happened: The two will establish the USTC-NIO Smart Electric Vehicle Joint Laboratory to conduct joint research on major national as well as local projects, according to a cnEVpost report.
Nio will provide resources and a platform to serve as an educational internship base for USTC, which in turn will support the establishment of a postdoctoral workstation at the joint lab.
USTC, part of the elite "C9 League," a group of universities that is claimed to be the Chinese equivalent of the Ivy League by state-run newspaper People's Daily, is located in Hefei, Anhui Province. Hefei is also home to Nio China's headquarters and the JAC NIO facility, which rolled out the company’s 100,000th mass-produced vehicle in April. The university’s research strength in China is almost comparable to that of Tsinghua University and Peking University, as per the report.
Why It Matters: Nio’s collaboration with the USTC comes just days after the company said it has started construction of NeoPark, a smart electric vehicle industry park it is co-developing with the Hefei government. NeoPark is conceived as a smart EV industry cluster, encompassing R&D of vehicles, core parts and components, and autonomous driving.
Nio has embarked on a broad push to drive volumes amid stiff competition in China, the world’s largest EV market. The company unveiled the interior of the ET7, its fourth mass-produced model, at the Shanghai auto show last month.
See Also: How to Buy Nio Stock
Nio has announced innovation in battery technology, charging infrastructure, and services. The company - whose sales trail that of market leader Tesla Inc. TSLA - has found success in China through its battery-as-a-subscription model and power swapping services.
It was reported last week that Nio is impressing EV buyers in China with its Nio Life lifestyle app, which converges social media, e-commerce and daily commute. The app, with around 150,000 daily users, has enabled Nio to tap into brand loyalty.
Price Action: Nio shares closed almost 2.2% higher on Friday at $39.84.
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