Tesla Inc TSLA rival Nio Inc NIO is eyeing a share of Europe's electric vehicle market by introducing battery leasing and swapping networks to cut costs for its customers.
What Happened: The Chinese electric vehicle maker is planning to build 1,000 battery swapping stations outside the country by 2025, most of them in Europe, the company's president told Reuters. Nio aims to take on the likes of BMW BMWYY, Mercedes MBGAF and Volkswagen VWAGY.
Qin Lihong, president and co-founder of the company, said the new battery swapping stations would be built to service the expanded range of electric cars that Nio will begin selling this year in Germany and other markets.
An email sent to Nio by Benzinga seeking comments didn't elicit an immediate response.
"We are comprehensively ahead of our competitors in terms of products and services," Qin said, adding, "It's true there will be more EV models to be launched in Europe in three years, but we are also making more progress."
Why It's Important: This comes after Nio opened its first overseas plant in Hungary earlier this month to make power products such as battery swapping stations, which cost extra when shipped from China because of their size.
The company will be applying the same strategy that has set it apart from its rivals in China's EV market — separating the battery from ownership to reduce up-front costs.
Qin added that Nio was also looking to partner with a European asset management company to finance the ownership of batteries for leasing as it begins to roll out sales this year.
Meanwhile, Nio has been experimenting with battery leasing and swapping in Norway for its ES8. It will roll out other models, including the ET7 and ET5 sedans, starting this year.
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