Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup Nio has announced it plans to begin selling cars overseas in September with Norway chosen as its first export market due to its high percentage of EV sales.

Last year 76,789 EVs were sold in the country, equivalent to 54% of total vehicle sales. The company also confirmed it plans to be in five European markets by the end of 2022.

Nio, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), said it will build its own sales network in Norway starting with an outlet in the historic centre of the capital city Oslo.

Four additional outlets will be opened in 2022, in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Kristansand.

The automaker said its first export model would be its flagship ES8 SUV, followed by the ET7 sedan in 2022. It plans to start taking orders in July, once its local app is up and running.

The company said it will also open its first delivery and aftersales centre in Oslo in September, which will be expanded the following year, along with the launch of mobile servicing, a car pickup-and-delivery service and a network of battery charging and swap outlets.

Nio sold 27,162 EVs in China in the first four months of 2021. The company said overall demand remained strong but production was likely to be held back in the second quarter by the global shortage of semiconductors.