has been discussing this adjustment internally for a long time, and as of 3 am today the NIO team was still working on it, William Li said.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

NIO (NYSE: NIO) today announced the largest price and benifit adjustment in its history in an attempt to boost sales. The company's helmsman responded to the move.

NIO has been discussing the adjustment internally for a long time, with input and suggestions from some of its customers, William Li, the electric vehicle company's founder, chairman and CEO, said in a reply to an article in the NIO App.

The company had so much to consider for this that the NIO team was still working on it as of 3 am today, he said.

Now is the most appropriate time to announce the change, although the company still has some things to think about and can't make everyone happy, Li said.

NIO lowered the starting prices for all models by RMB 30,000 yuan ($4,200) starting today and made the battery swap service, which was previously offered four or six times a month for free, a paid option.

Under the latest pricing system, NIO's cheapest model, the ET5 sedan, starts at RMB 298,000, and if consumers choose to lease the battery with the BaaS (battery as a service) option, the vehicle starts at RMB 228,000.

The new ES6, which only went on sale and began deliveries late last month, starts at RMB 338,000 under the new pricing system and RMB 268,000 under the BaaS model.

In fact, many NIO supporters in China have been calling for the adjustment on social media for a long time.

NIO initially offered owners unlimited free battery swap service and free home charging piles, and scaled back the entitlement to six free services per month and a free home charging pile a few years later.

On April 10, the company announced that effective June 1, consumers who purchase the NIO ET7, EC7, ES7, and ET5 will no longer receive a free home charger, and the free battery swap entitlement will be adjusted to four times per month.

Since the free battery swap service is directly tied to the sale of NIO vehicles, it discourages potential consumers in areas where the number of battery swap stations is small from taking an interest in NIO vehicles, as they may believe that the cost of their vehicle purchase includes the battery swap service that they will not be able to enjoy in the short term.

At the same time, the high price of NIO vehicles means that its owner base is more likely to have a fixed parking space than other brands, and for these people, charging at home is cheap, making the free battery swap service redundant.

In a June 9 analyst call following NIO's first-quarter earnings announcement, Li said the company was considering adjusting customer benefits, such as free battery swap service that some owners may not need, hinting at today's move.

($1 = RMB 7.1435)

BREAKING: NIO cuts starting prices by $4,200 for all models and makes battery swap benefits optional