WILLIAM LI NIO

NIO

William Li

CEO and Chairperson, NIO

After a difficult 2019, Chinese luxury electric-vehicle manufacturer Nio is this year back on the up. In June, the company said it had delivered a record quarterly number of vehicles to the market in June this year, a new milestone for the six-year-old startup led by William Li.

With a reduction in government subsidies for EV manufacturers kicking in last year, Li says competing on price and value alone is no longer enough.

“The new energy vehicle industry is at a turning point,” he tells Business Insider. “It used to be driven by favourable policies and sales, greatly boosted by the subsidies. As subsidies reduced, EV companies now need to win over users’ hearts with products and services.”

One service area where Nio is excelling is in its battery-swapping technology. The company provides stations across the country where drivers can swap out their batteries in just three minutes. It is a service offering that few EV manufacturers have been able to use. Tesla introduced a similar technology in 2014 but quickly killed the project. In May, Nio said it had completed over 500,000 swaps, which gives Li confidence.

“The demand for individual car purchases is getting stronger. Even as subsidies are reduced, I believe the EV market will become healthier and more promising," Li adds.