NIO's battery swap stations are well adapted and the time has come to offer output to other brands, according to Li.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
The man at the helm of NIO (NYSE: NIO) reiterated that the company's battery swap stations network is open to other brands, and compared the service to a cloud service.
NIO wants other companies to share and build battery swap infrastructure with it, said William Li, the company's founder, chairman and CEO.
Li mentioned this during a media group interview on April 1 during the China EV 100 Forum, saying that there have been discussions between other car companies and NIO on the matter, according to a report today by local media outlet The Paper.
"I met with several company executives today and they asked me how we could work together, and we're open to that," he said.
With 80 percent of the power provided by NIO's charging stations being used by other brands of electric vehicles, it's feasible for the company to offer battery swap services to other car companies, he said, adding that it's just that other automakers would need to design vehicle chassis based on the specifications of NIO's battery packs.
NIO's battery swap stations have a reasonable degree of adaptability, and the time has come to provide output to the outside, Li said.
He said the company calls its battery swap model "battery as a service (BaaS)", an innovation that can be understood through the lens of cloud services.
Cloud services around the world, whether they are offered by Microsoft, Google and Amazon in the United States or Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei in China, they all have one thing in common: The companies themselves are the primary users.
"You certainly can't achieve this kind of service if you're not the biggest user yourself," he said.
On top of being available for their own use, such systems need to be open, and the hardware interfaces, software interfaces, and operational interfaces all need to be complete, said Li.
NIO's battery swap stations are being offered for two generations of vehicle platforms and have supported six models so far, including models from 2018 to 2023.
"I think it's very well adapted and the internal interfaces are very mature," Li said, adding, "We feel that the time has come for it to provide output to the outside world, and we are very willing to explore that with our peers."
It's a bit like Amazon's cloud service, which requires the company to sort out internally the timeline for offering the service externally, he said.
However, Li also noted that, like the time it takes to migrate when using new cloud services, the matter of NIO's battery swap service being available to other brands requires peers to work together to plan ahead before it can be realized in two or three years.