On August 20, NIO finally released its BaaS (Battery as a Service), a battery rental service. The business is offered by a comprehensive service of separation of vehicle and battery, battery rental, rechargeable, exchangeable and upgradeable services, it is a breakthrough innovation in technology and business models.
Users who choose the BaaS model to purchase NIO’s EV do not need to purchase battery packs when buying a car. The price of the battery pack is not included in the vehicle sales invoice price. The user’s financial loan down payment and monthly repayment is also calculated at the price without the battery pack. BaaS users can choose to rent battery packs of different capacities according to actual needs and pay monthly service fees. BaaS users will also enjoy NIO’s battery replacement service and flexible battery upgrade service as same as the customers who buy both vehicle and battery and can receive China’s new energy vehicle purchase subsidy and purchase tax exemption policy support.
Choosing the BaaS model to buy all NIO models will reduce the vehicle price by 70,000 yuan (~US$10,000). Choosing a 70kWh battery pack will cost a monthly service fee of 980 yuan. The launch of the NIO’s BaaS will greatly reduce the threshold for car purchases and better balance the cost of car purchase and car use. At the same time, the BaaS model will also systematically solve the pain points that have always affected the popularization of electric vehicles, such as battery degradation, inability to upgrade batteries, and large changes in vehicle value retention.
The foundation of NIO’s battery rental service is NIO’s innovative battery swap technology, a nationwide battery swap network, and battery swap services. Since its establishment, NIO has insisted on the continuous research and development of power swap technology and the construction of a power swap network. As of August 20, Weilai has obtained more than 1,200 power swap related patents, has built 143 power swap stations nationwide, and has completed more than 800,000 power swap services for users. Recently, as the first drafting unit, Weilai, in conjunction with China Automotive Technology&Research Center Co. Ltd （CATARC) and a number of carmakers have passed the approval of the first national electric vehicle battery swap standard, which will surely further promote the development of battery swap technology and services.
The user’s recognition of the power swap mode has promoted the support of the government authorities for the technical route of power swap. In 2020, the national new energy vehicle subsidy policy clearly affirms the separation mode of vehicle and battery based on power swap technology. Electric vehicles with a price of more than 300,000 yuan must have the power swap capability to enjoy the car purchase subsidy; in the government work report of the two sessions in 2020, for the first time, the power swap station was included in the “new infrastructure” category. With the support of industry authorities, the NIO models sold without batteries have completed certification and announcements. The first user who chose the BaaS model to buy a car completed the entire car purchase process including loans, insurance, and licensing. The innovative model of separation of car and battery and battery rental changed from an idea to a reality.
As the holder of battery assets, battery asset companies are an important part of BaaS. Wuhan WEI NENG Battery Assets Co., Ltd., jointly initiated and invested by CATL, Hubei Science and Technology Investment Group Co., Ltd., Guotai Junan International Holdings Co., Ltd. and NIO (Anhui) Holdings Co., Ltd., was registered and established on August 18. Battery Assets will purchase battery packs and entrust NIO to provide users with battery rental operation services.