NIO Pilot Program Lets Owners Share Car Batteries with Others in China

Image: NIO

NIO today launched a new “battery sharing” pilot program on its app that allows participants to share their 100-kWh long-range battery packs with others in exchange for compensation in the form of NIO Credits — reports CnEVPost.

Currently, NIO is the only EV manufacturer in the Chinese market with a model that includes battery swapping, with all of its vehicles supporting easy and quick battery replacement. Last month, NIO surpassed BYD to become the most valuable car brand in China.

The battery sharing program will allow NIO owners who upgraded to 100-kWh battery packs but don’t actually need all that juice all the time to share their long-range packs with others who need a temporary range boost.

In return, users who share their long-range battery packs will earn 300 NIO Credits (worth ~RMB 30) per day, which can be used to shop at the NIO Life online mall.

The shared long-range batteries will be swapped for standard 70/75 kWh battery packs at one of NIO’s battery swap stations, and participants will be required to sign a paper agreement with the company on-site.

In September, NIO hit 500 battery swap stations in China and a total of 4 million battery swaps.

NIO has launched the pilot program in select provinces and cities, including Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian, along with Nanjing and Nantong in the Jiangsu province. If the pilot proves successful, the company plans on expanding the program to other regions in the future.

Only users who have purchased a 100-kWh battery pack, or those who chose a 100-kWh pack when purchasing a vehicle using NIO’s battery rental service, BaaS, are eligible for the program at this time.

Users who want to share their long-range battery packs can submit applications between November 25 and December 31 for a fixed 3-month battery sharing period. If a user retrieves the shared battery before the specified sharing period is up, they will receive points based on the length of time the battery was shared for.

NIO owners who want to swap their standard-range battery pack for a shared long-range pack can make an appointment a week in advance and visit the specified battery swap station at the appointed time to make the exchange.

The program allows users who are not fully utilizing their 100-kWh battery packs to earn some additional revenue, while also serving the additional range needs of users with lower-spec battery packs in a way that no other vehicle company can.

NIO has proven to be pretty flexible and innovative in the battery space, with the company having previously offered both temporary and permanent battery upgrades to users who regretted purchasing standard-range battery packs.

Earlier today, NIO also announced a strategic partnership with Shell for co-branded battery swap stations in China and Europe.