's 150-kWh pack will initially be available for lease only, with a buyout option to be offered in the future.

(Image credit: Nio App)

Nio (NYSE: NIO) is expected to start making the 150-kWh pack available in the first half of this year, but its high cost means the semi-solid-state battery is still a long way from being available on a large scale.

The 150-kWh pack costs about as much as an ET5 electric sedan, Nio co-founder and president Qin Lihong said February 11 at a face-to-face user event in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.

The ET5 is the least expensive of Nio's product array. For a model with the 75-kWh standard range battery pack, the starting price is RMB 328,000 ($48,180) including the battery. If consumers choose to lease the battery under the BaaS (battery as a service) model, the starting price is RMB 258,000 and the monthly battery rental fee is RMB 980.

For the ET5 with the 100-kWh long-range battery pack, the price including the battery is RMB 386,000, with a starting price of RMB 258,000 in BaaS mode and a monthly battery rental fee of RMB 1,680.

Nio has not posted a transcript of the event, and its mobile app has a few images about it. Auto blogger @碳粉说电池不胖 shared the minutes of the event on Weibo on Saturday.

Nio owners will be able to start experiencing the 150-kWh battery pack over the summer, which will initially be available for rent only, with a buyout option to be offered in the future, Qin said, according to the minutes.

The timeline is consistent with what Qin mentioned at a February 6 media event, when he said deliveries of Nio's 150-kWh pack would begin in the first half of this year.

Nio unveiled the 150-kWh semi-solid-state battery when it launched its flagship sedan, the Nio ET7, at the Nio Day 2020 event on January 9, 2021.

At the time, the company said the battery would be available starting in the fourth quarter of 2022, and that the ET7 with the pack would have an NEDC range of 1,000 kilometers.

But Nio did not make the pack available in the fourth quarter of last year as expected, and the company's management said during an earnings call last year that the pack would be delayed by several months.

The supplier of the 150-kWh pack, which has an energy density of 360 Wh/kg, is Beijing WeLion New Energy Technology.

In addition to information about the semi-solid-state pack, Qin mentioned that Nio's assisted driving software NOP (Navigate on Pilot) Plus will be rolled out to all vehicles in the near future, and that subscription-based NAD (Nio Autonomous Driving) software will be available later this year.

Nio's flagship sedan, the ET7, still has some areas that owners feel need improvement, including rear comfort, rear seats not being able to be folded down and the seat surfaces being prone to bulging, all of which will be addressed this year, according to Qin.

It is not clear if Nio will launch a facelift of the ET7 this year to address these issues.

Nio will deliver three new models in the first half of this year, according to what @碳粉说电池不胖 shared, with no further details provided.

In a small media briefing in Beijing on February 6, Qin said that one or two of the company's yet-to-be-released new models could be delivered earlier than the EC7 and the new ES8.

The EC7 coupe SUV and the all-new ES8 were launched at Nio Day 2022 on December 24, 2022, and deliveries will begin in May and June 2023, respectively.

NIO has 1-2 new models that could begin deliveries by end of May, president hints