At Nio Day 2020 on 9 January this year, Nio unveiled its first production sedan – the Nio ET7. In one of the ET7’s interior pictures, the company shows the car parked near Oslo New Theatre (Oslo Nye Teater), located a few hundred metres away from Karl Johans Gate in Oslo. Another indicator of the Nio Norway launch is fifteen job listings from the company in Oslo on Linkedin.
CEO confirms Nio Norway launch
Following the teasers, Marius Hayler, the CEO of Nio’s Norway operations, has told Bilbransje24 that the company will open the first Nio Norway showroom in Oslo this September. Nio plans to open its first Norwegian showroom in Oslo at Karl Johans gate 33A, just a few blocks away from a Polestar Oslo showroom. The facility will have space for a four-car display.
The ground floor will have a display area for lifestyle products (presumably Nio Life items) and a separate configuration room for cars. There will be meeting rooms, playrooms for children, a ‘Flexible Activity Room,’ and a library with a fireplace in the basement. A cafe and bar with windows facing Karl Johans gate are also planned for Nio customers in Oslo, although we cannot understand yet if they will be inside the showroom premises or somewhere around.
Norway’s national banks up stake in Nio
The Nio Norway launch expected this year could also mark the commencement of export shipments for the company. With Nio preparing to mark its presence outside China, Norway’s national bank sees higher potential and has raised its stake in the company.
Norway’s huge demand for EVs, driven by an aggressive government push, makes it the most attractive market for automakers launching EVs in Europe. For some companies, Norway happens to be the most lucrative export market across the world. In December 2020, Xpeng Motors entered Norway as its first overseas market, and FAW’s Hongqi brand announced plans to serve Norwegian customers.
Last year, Norway became the world’s first country in which more than 50% of new vehicle sales were of electric cars, Norsk elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association) said in a report. In another report, Norsk elbilforening said that 76,789 electric cars were sold in Norway last year and that their market share was a whopping 54.3%. Norway plans to switch completely to electric cars by 2025, and EV brands are making it a priority market.
Norges Bank, the national bank of Norway, purchased 13.4 million Nio shares in the final quarter of 2020. The bank managing the largest sovereign wealth fund holds a 1.06% stake in the Chinese Tesla rival.
In more recent developments at Nio, the company sees a new trend of alternative vehicle ownership modes. “Along with the growing user base and expanding battery offerings, more and more users opt for Battery-as-a-Service, BaaS,” William Bin Li, Chairman and CEO, Nio, told analysts during the Q4 2020 earnings conference call. “In February 2021, the take rate of BaaS among new orders has reached 55%,” Bin Li added. The BaaS model, if extended to Norway and European markets, would be a unique proposition.
The Nio ET7 features the company’s latest autonomous driving technology that allows hands-free driving on expressways, and during parking and battery swapping. It also features a new version of the brand’s NOMI, the world’s first in-car companion (with AI). Two more highlights worth mentioning are a new 12.8-inch AMOLED centre display with a much better resolution and contrast compared to the unit in existing Nio models, and a 7.1.4 channel sound system with 23 speakers and a 1,000-watt total output.
Powering the Nio ET7 is a permanent magnet synchronous motor at the front and an induction motor at the rear. The PMSM produces 180 kW (245 PS) and 350 Nm, while the induction motor generates 300 kW (408 PS) and 500 Nm. Together, they offer 480 kW (653 PS) of power and 850 Nm of torque. Battery pack options include conventional 70 kWh and 100 kWh units offering a range of 500+ km and around 700 km, respectively. The 150 kWh solid-state unit allows a range of 1,000+ km, but this option won’t become available before Q4 2022, though.
The Nio ET7 is an executive or E-segment sedan, an all-electric alternative to conventional business sedans like the Mercedes E-Class. Set to be launched in Q1 2022, it will rival the Mercedes EQE, Tesla Model S, and Porsche Taycan.
Featured image: Nio