Owners of vehicles with purchase invoice dates on or after January 1, 2024 will only be eligible to buy out the battery packs after one year.

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Nio (NYSE: NIO) is starting to allow owners of vehicles purchased on its BaaS (battery as a service) model in China to buy out the power battery packs, providing additional flexibility beyond battery upgrades.

Nio allows customers to purchase vehicles with battery packs included, or to purchase just the body and lease the battery packs under the BaaS model.

Customers who purchase a vehicle under the BaaS program do not own the battery pack, which reduces the purchase price by at least RMB 70,000 ($9,860). They pay either RMB 980 or RMB 1,680 per month for renting the battery, depending on whether the battery pack has a standard or long range.

The battery buyout option became available to BaaS owners, who can pay for the battery to own the pack, according to an article posted on the company's mobile app last week.

For a standard-range battery pack with a capacity of 70/75 kWh, the battery buyout costs RMB 70,000 yuan.

For a long-range battery pack with a capacity of 100 kWh, the battery costs RMB 128,000.

Customers who want to replace the battery with a brand new one will need to pay an additional RMB 3,000.

Currently Nio only allows BaaS customers to buy out battery packs with the same capacity as when they purchased the car. Owners who have already purchased a battery pack at the time of purchase cannot buy a new one.

For BaaS users, if they buy out a battery pack, the battery rental fee they previously paid will not be refunded.

Notably, for vehicles with purchase invoice dates on or after January 1, 2024, owners will only be eligible to buy out the battery pack after one year. This appears to be partly aimed at avoiding improper leveraging of China's latest new energy vehicle (NEV) purchase tax incentives.

For NEVs with buying dates between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2025, they will still be exempt from vehicle purchase tax, but the exemption will not exceed RMB 30,000 per vehicle, according to a June 21, 2023 announcement by China's Ministry of Finance.

This means that consumers purchasing NEVs with a selling price of no more than RMB 339,000 will still not be required to pay any purchase tax, as before.

In addition, when consumers purchase NEVs with separate invoices for the car and battery, the taxable price is the ex-tax price of the vehicle body.

This means that some of Nio's higher-priced models can enjoy a lower taxable price by selling the body and battery separately.

($1 = RMB 7.0999)

Nio releases new battery upgrade rules, new conditions to apply after Jan 1