(NYSE: NIO) signed a partnership agreement with a Beijing-based state-owned company, marking a new achievement for the Chinese electric vehicle maker as it moves forward with the construction of its signature battery swap stations.

On March 19, NIO Power Beijing, a subsidiary of NIO, held a signing ceremony with state-owned infrastructure company Beijing Shoufa Industrial and Trading Co (北京首发工贸公司) at the NIO Center in Oriental Plaza.

Under the five-year strategic cooperation agreement, the two companies agreed to cooperate in the construction of battery swap stations along the Beijing Capital Ring Expressway.

In addition, the two companies will work together to optimize the layout of the energy supply, promote the use of new energy vehicles, and improve the experience of high-speed travel for Beijing residents.

In fact, Beijing Shoufa is one of the earliest supporters of NIO's battery swap station construction. The latest action is a comprehensive cooperation upgrade between the two sides.

Back in 2018, they built NIO's first pilot project of highway service area battery swap station in China at Majuqiao service area in Beijing.

Following the signing of this new agreement, the two companies plan to advance the construction of the battery swap station and related facilities in the Beijing Capital Ring Expressway service areas to further improve the intercity travel replenishment experience for NIO customers.

The Beijing Capital Ring Expressway is one of the most important highways connecting Beijing to the surrounding areas, with its 940 km long mainline. Its northernmost section opened to traffic in December 2016 and the full route opened to traffic on August 20, 2018.

Prior to the signing between the two companies, Beijing Shoufa Chairman Guo Jiancai visited NIO's first NIO Center on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing.

(Beijing Shoufa Chairman Guo Jiancai (right) visits NIO's first NIO Center on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing.)

NIO appears to be accelerating its partnership with the Chinese infrastructure giants.

On February 14, Chinese fossil fuel energy giant China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) Chairman Zhang Yuzhuo visited one of NIO's battery swap stations. At the end of February, William Li, founder, chairman, and CEO of NIO, and the company's president Qin Lihong recently visited Sinopec.

Earlier this month, the Securities Daily cited rumors that NIO's first second-generation battery swap station is expected to go live at a Sinopec gas station in Beijing on April 15, and that NIO will also reach a strategic cooperation agreement with Sinopec to build NIO's battery swap stations at more Sinopec gas stations in the future.

In this regard, Sinopec and NIO said, "There is no exact news yet, and will communicate at the right time."

One is a traditional energy giant and the other is a new carmaker, and the "rumors" between the two parties have raised expectations in the market, according to the article.

The report also mentions a mutual visit between NIO executives and Sinopec executives as a sign of cooperation between the two.

NIO plans to have 500 battery swap stations in China this year, and its second-generation battery swap stations occupy about four parking spaces and allow users to automatically complete a battery swap with one click without getting out of the car.

The second-generation battery swap station has 13 batteries in a single station, with a three-fold increase in a service capacity, and can complete up to 312 battery swaps per day, the report noted.

In this context, when the "rumors" of cooperation between Sinopec and NIO came, industry insiders were more bullish, according to the Securities Daily.