Nio, the ‘Tesla of China’, rolls out EV charging across China

Nio is relatively late to start its EV charging network but will look to capitalize on a growing market.

A view of the front of the New York Stock Exchange leading up to the initial public offering of NIO Inc., a Chinese electric-vehicle company, New York, New York, USA, on 12 September 2018. The company, which has been compared to Tesla, is expected to raise around 1 billion USD / 860 million Euros. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

One of China’s biggest electronic vehicle (EV) manufacturers, Nio, will launch EV charging services in 41 cities, according to 36Kr. This will include a mobile EV charging service priced at RMB 380 (USD 57) and designated charging points costing RMB 280 (USD 42) per session. In a first for the company, these charging services will be compatible with all electric cars, including Teslas. Previously, only Nio owners could use the company’s EV chargers.

Founded in 2014, Nio raised funds from the likes of Tencent and Baidu before a public listing on the NYSE in September. Tesla’s second-biggest shareholder Baillie Gifford also holds a significant interest in the Shanghai-based company.

Though Nio is relatively late in offering charging stations in China to all EVs, it will nevertheless look to capitalize on a growing market. In 2018, 1.25 million EVs were sold in China, up 73% from 2017. As of January 2019, China was estimated to have 2.6 million EVs on the road and upwards of 800,000 EV chargers, including 330,000 public charging points at 70,000 stations.

By 2025, China wants annual sales of new-energy vehicles (NEV)—such as EVs, hybrids, and fuel-cell cars—to reach 7 million, or about 20%, of China’s total car sales. That figure currently stands at just 4% of the 23.7 million passenger vehicles sold, which may be why officials are mulling a new plan to boost NEV purchases after it slashed subsidies for the industry last month.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad