Chinese automaker Nio on Friday unveiled its first 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which will be offered as a subscription-based upgrade to existing vehicles, with "pre-orders" opening November 7.
This adds to Nio's "battery as a service" model that involves purchasing the vehicle but paying a monthly fee for the use of the battery pack.
That was previously offered in China for 70-kwh packs used in the ES8, ES6, and EC6 electric cars. Customers with 70-kwh cars will be able to purchase the 100-kwh pack outright, or pay subscription fees of 880 yuan a month (equivalent to $133 a month at current exchange rates) or 7,980 yuan per year ($1,207) for the upgrade.
New customers are charged the equivalent of $223 per month for the 100-kwh battery subscription, but get a $19,360 discount on the car. That's compared to $148 a month for the 70-kwh pack, with a $10,587 discount on the car.
2019 Nio ES8 and ES6
In addition to its larger capacity, Nio claims the 100-kwh pack has 37% greater energy density than its previous designs. This enables a range of up to 382 miles, according to the company, likely as measured on the Chinese testing cycle.
It claims a 40% improvement in manufacturing efficiency for the new battery pack, as well as improved thermal management.
Nio is the only automaker to have a large-scale battery-swapping operation established. It claims to have 158 battery-swapping stations in China, with 1.18 million swaps performed so far.
The automaker appears to be rebounding in its home market after a difficult 2019. Charging (and swapping) infrastructure has been a strength, and Nio last year agreed to share its charging network with Chinese rival Xpeng.