SHANGHAI – Chinese electric-car maker Nio said that in 2024 it will start making high-voltage battery packs that it has developed itself, as part of a drive to improve profitability and competitiveness to take on rivals such as Tesla.
Nio, plans to start producing an 800-volt battery pack in the second half of 2024, its chairman William Li told analysts on a call on Thursday.
Most electric vehicles operate with 400-volt batteries while Porsche’s Taycan electric cars are powered by 800-volt lithium-ion battery packs, which recharge faster.
Li said Nio – which has over 400 employees working on the research and development of battery technologies – also plans to use a combination of self-produced and externally sourced batteries in the long run, a plan similar to Tesla’s.
Li said Nio plans to use self-produced battery packs for its new mass-market marque, which is expected be ready for sale in the second half of 2024. These new models are expected to be priced around 200,000 to 300,000 yuan ($30,000-$45,000), he added.
Nio said battery costs would have risen in the second quarter after the renewal in April of an agreement with its sole battery supplier CATL.
The company said on Thursday its net loss narrowed to 1.8 billion yuan in the first quarter from 4.9 billion a year earlier.
But Nio forecast deliveries of between 23,000 and 25,000 vehicles in the quarter ending June 30, down from 25,768 in the first quarter, reflecting a general drop in production by major automakers as a result of a two-months long COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.
U.S.-listed shares of Nio, which closed down 7.7% on Thursday, have lost 44% of their value so far this year.
($1 = 6.6796 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)