China-based premium electric carmaker Nio has launched what it terms the ‘Battery as a Service’ (‘BaaS’) subscription model and announced the establishment of Wuhan Weineng Battery Asset Co., Ltd.

The BaaS model allows users to purchase electric vehicles and subscribe the usage of battery packs separately. If users opt to purchase an ES8, ES6 or EC6 model and subscribe to use the 70 kWh battery pack under the BaaS model, they can enjoy the vehicle purchase price with an RMB70,000 deduction off the original price and pay a monthly subscription fee of RMB980 for the battery pack.

Meanwhile, the users will continue to enjoy the existing favourable policies such as purchase tax exemption and government subsidies for EVs. The first vehicle under the BaaS model has completed the process of license plate registration, insurance purchase, and auto financing. All users who purchase Nio vehicles are now eligible to place orders with the BaaS model.

Nio, CATL and Hubei Science Technology Investment Group Co., Ltd. and a subsidiary of Guotai Junan International Holdings Limited have jointly established the Battery Asset Company. Nio and the partners will each invest RMB200 million and hold 25% equity interest in the Battery Asset Company respectively. The Battery Asset Company is dedicated to purchase and own the battery assets, and lease the battery packs to users who subscribe to the BaaS model.

“The BaaS model has long been planned with our unique battery swap technologies. The successful launch of the BaaS model will enable NIO users to benefit from the lower initial purchase prices of our products, flexible battery upgrade options and assurance of battery performance,” said William Bin Li, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Nio. “As of today, Nio has deployed 143 battery swap stations across 64 cities in China, and completed over 800,000 battery swaps for our users. The advantages of our chargeable, swappable and upgradable battery swap technologies will continue to enhance competitiveness of Nio products, promote conversion to our premium smart EVs and create more values for our users.”

See also: Nio – the eternal next Tesla?