autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

NIO Would Be Partnering With BYD to Create Affordable Brand

One of the biggest blows from NIO Day 2021 was that the Chinese carmaker did not announce its affordable brand. In William Li’s words, it will be to NIO what Toyota is to Lexus. Perhaps the announcement didn’t happen because there are still discussions around the new brand. According to 36kr, it will have a crucial partner: BYD.
NIO and BYD may be preparing a partnership for NIO's affordable brand 35 photos
NIO ET5 (yellow) and NIO ET7 (grey)NIO ET5 (yellow) and NIO ET7 (grey)NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET5NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7NIO ET7
While BYD is a competitor, it is also the producer of the Blade Battery, an innovative LFP battery pack that promises to last more than 1.2 million kilometers (745,645 miles). This would be the main interest NIO has with this partner, but 36kr mentions some other factors involved with the partnership, which we learned thanks to CNEVPost.

CATL is the leading battery supplier for NIO, which is only second to Tesla as a customer. Although that seems like a solid partnership, that’s actually a bit shaken. In 2019, when NIO faced some financial troubles, CATL demanded that NIO paid in advance for the cells and gave the carmaker a hard time, afraid that it would go bankrupt. Apart from that, CATL would be facing capacity problems that would make it unfit for supplying cells for a new high-volume brand.

Although these aspects may play a role in NIO’s partnership with BYD, we see other possible reasons for that. First of all, NIO said it would be willing to make a partnership with other carmakers that wanted to use its battery swapping system. It may be the case that BYD is interested in incorporating that system into its e-platform 3.0, which would be an excellent competitive advantage.

If BYD cars had NIO’s battery swapping system, they could use all NIO Power Swap stations, which could create some difficulties for NIO owners. However, the higher volume in battery swaps would generate the need to increase the number of swap stations, and BYD builds cells. NIO could use a battery manufacturer as a partner for expanding its battery-swapping network.

NIO once told me that sharing its tech with other companies would require “large-scale synergies among different manufacturers.” BYD may be the first one to join NIO in that with a significant advantage: it not be a mere “alliance;” it would be a partnership. When (and if) the deal is confirmed, we will know more about the possibilities it opens for both companies.

Editor's note: The gallery presents images of the ET5, NIO's latest car, announced at the NIO Day 2021.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories