NIO has acquired a 19.9 percent stake in Neo Fusion and NIO Capital has acquired a 10.1 percent stake.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
NIO (NYSE: NIO) has invested in a nuclear fusion startup, the electric vehicle (EV) maker's first foray into the space itself since NIO Capital invested in a similar company about a year ago.
The Chinese EV maker has invested in nuclear fusion startup Neo Fusion and told CnEVPost that the project will be funded by multiple parties, including NIO and NIO Capital, in phases, and that it plans to attract additional strategic and financial investors to support the project's long-term development.
The investment was first reported by Reuters earlier today. NIO invested RMB 995 million ($142 million) for a 19.9 percent stake, while NIO Capital, an investment firm founded by its founder, chairman and CEO William Li, invested RMB 505 million for a 10.1 percent stake, according to the report.
The newly formed Neo Fusion will research and develop technologies aimed at making controlled fusion available for global commercial use within 20 years, the report noted.
Neo Fusion has a registered capital of 5 billion yuan and is 50 percent controlled by China's eastern province of Anhui government-owned energy companies and investment arms, according to the report.
"Fusion power is a clean and efficient energy source, and also potentially one of the ultimate clean energy solutions to sustainability, making fusion power strategically significant to carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, as well as solving the global energy crisis," NIO said in a statement sent to CnEVPost.
Staying true to the original aspiration of Blue Sky Coming, NIO aims to facilitate the R&D and commercialization of nuclear fusion technology by making financial investment into this project, so that it can play a bigger part in realizing long-term suitability and enhance its influence industry-wide, the statement said.
Notably, NIO Capital had invested in a company engaged in a similar business a year earlier.
On February 25, 2022, Energy Singularity, a startup researching nuclear fusion technology, announced the closing of a nearly RMB 400 million round of funding, its first since founding in 2021.
NIO Capital and local gaming giant miHoYo were co-leaders in the funding, with Sequoia China Seed Fund and Bluerun Ventures participating in the financing.
The funds will be used primarily to develop and build the world's first small-scale tokamak experimental device based on high-temperature superconducting materials, and to develop advanced magnet systems that can be used in the next generation of high-performance fusion devices.
($1 = RMB 7.0217)