Shandong Weida was up 6 percent in Shenzhen at press time, and up about 20 percent over the past month.

(NYSE: NIO) is expected to announce the first partner that will use its signature battery swap stations later today. Before that, shares of a Chinese company that makes the facility for it have soared.

Shenzhen-traded Shandong Weida Machinery rose 10 percent at the opening of China's stock market today, the maximum of its daily gain, though that was back down to about 6 percent as of this writing.

Shandong Weida's shares have risen more than 20 percent cumulatively since October 24, as rumors swirl that another automaker may use Nio's battery swap network.

Nio will announce the first company that will use its battery swap system on November 21, and the electric vehicle (EV) maker is in talks with four to five other companies for similar tie-ups, Nio founder, chairman and CEO William Li said yesterday.

Battery swap is a huge first-mover advantage for Nio, and the time has come to open it up to the entire industry, Li said.

CnEVPost has learned that Nio is expected to announce the partnership around 4 pm Beijing time (3 am US Eastern time) today.

The first brand to partner with Nio on battery swap could be China FAW Group's high-end EV brand Hongqi, Wallstreetcn said yesterday, citing a source close to Nio.

Meanwhile, however, some rumors on Chinese social media suggest that the Nio partner could be Changan Automobile.

With the introduction of an external partner that will use its battery swap stations, Nio is expected to continue to aggressively push for the construction of these stations.

Nio originally planned to add 400 new battery swap stations in 2023, and in February it announced it would add 1,000 new stations this year, bringing the total to 2,300 by the end of the year.

As of November 20, Nio had 2,110 battery swap stations in China, data from its charging map show.

Nio's continued installation of new battery swap stations favors supplier Shandong Weida, which said in its semiannual report that it has a global high-end customer base and strong relationships with well-known brands including Bosch and Nio.

In the first half of 2023, Shandong Weida's battery swap station manufacturing business brought in revenue of RMB 447 million ($62.6 million), up 19.33 percent year-on-year.

The battery swap station manufacturing business contributed 37.86 percent of Shandong Weida's total revenue in the first half of the year, making it its highest-earning business.

It's worth noting that Shandong Weida's gross margin for the business in the first half wasn't high, at 6.7 percent. Its battery packs and chargers business had a gross margin of 27.29 percent, while power tool accessories was 20.5 percent.

($1 = RMB 7.1388)

Nio to unveil 1st firm to use its battery swap network on Nov 21