JAC has introduced a new electric light truck that allows customers to purchase only the body and rent the battery, thereby significantly reducing the cost of ownership.

's unique business model allows consumers to purchase only the vehicle body and not the battery, thereby significantly lowering the barrier to purchase. Now its vehicle OEM, Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp (JAC), has also learned from the model.

JAC (SHA: 600418) announced on March 22 a new electric light truck with the biggest feature of allowing customers to purchase only the body and rent the battery.

With subsidies for new energy vehicle (NEV) purchases declining, new energy commercial vehicles are nearly twice as expensive as their regular fuel-fired counterparts, JAC said, adding that its light truck allows for a reduction in purchase costs comparable to fuel vehicles.

That model is at the heart of NIO, whose battery rental service BaaS (Battery-as-a-Service) can lower the threshold for consumers to buy a vehicle by at least 70,000 yuan. JAC is NIO's (NYSE: NIO, HKG: 9866) partner in vehicle manufacturing.

But it's worth noting that JAC appears to have borrowed only a small part of NIO's model, which allows consumers to not buy batteries.

The light truck does not appear to be able to replace batteries at battery swap stations as NIO's vehicles can.

The batteries are recycled by a battery management company at the end of their service life in the vehicle and are then used for further applications including energy storage, mining and power generation, JAC said.

The light truck is mainly to address consumers' concerns about the cost of purchasing the vehicle and its value retention, which is beneficial to the popularity of new energy light trucks, JAC said.

It's worth noting that JAC is not the first vehicle company to have learned from NIO's model.

At the end of November last year, a month after the ID.3 was officially launched in China, Volkswagen's joint venture in China, SAIC-Volkswagen, offered a battery rental program for the model, bringing the purchase threshold down by tens of thousands of yuan.

NIO's local counterpart Motors (NYSE: XPEV, HKG: 9868) briefly offered a similar program in September 2020, also allowing consumers to buy only the body and rent the battery.