CnEVPost previously reported that said reaching 500 battery swap stations this year was a conservative goal, so how is the electric vehicle company going to exceed expectations? Today, that answer is revealed.

NIO on Thursday signed a strategic partnership agreement with fossil fuel giant Sinopec and opened its first second-generation battery swap station at one of the latter's gas stations in Beijing.

Following the agreement, NIO co-founder and president Qin Lihong said the company will add nearly 100 third-party partners to collaborate on battery swap station construction this year, after already working with State Grid, China Southern Power Grid, Dongguan Development (Holdings), and Shenzhen Bus Group Company.

NIO's partnership with Sinopec is currently moving forward with hundreds of sites for second-generation battery swap stations, with close to 10 in Beijing, he said.

NIO will lay out all the battery swap stations that can be produced this year, with no upper limit on the number, Qin said.

In the remaining 260 days of the year, NIO will continue to deploy 299 second-generation battery swap stations, completing a total of 500 battery swap stations, said Shen Fei, vice president of NIO.

The second-generation battery swap stations have room for further optimization and upgrading, such as not having to turn off the air conditioner and shortening the operation time when the battery swap pools are in use, he said.

NIO will increase the density of supercharging stations and battery swap stations in first-tier cities, and will increase the breadth of the layout of these facilities in second-tier cities, third-tier cities and highways to solve the charging difficulties and range anxiety of pure electric vehicle users as much as possible, Shen said.

As previously reported by CnEVPost, NIO's 100,000th vehicle rolled off the production line at its Hefei manufacturing base on April 7, marking an important milestone for the company.

William Li, founder, chairman, and CEO of NIO, said in a media interview after the ceremony that NIO needs to continue to improve its service network in 2021 and plans to build a total of 500 battery swap stations this year.

He mentioned that this number is a public target and that "the company's internal targets will be a little more aggressive and higher."

NIO also expects to release new initiatives for charging station service facilities, laying the groundwork for rapid growth in users, he said.

Indeed, since last year, we have seen NIO continue to partner with other companies to advance the placement of ware charging infrastructure.

On December 14 last year, NIO signed an agreement with State Grid EV service, a subsidiary of State Grid, to build 100 charging stations and battery swap stations by 2021.

On April 9, NIO signed a six-year framework agreement with Guangdong infrastructure giant, Dongguan Development (Holdings) Co. The first phase will be the construction of 5 battery swap stations in highway service areas.