Shanghai-based, U.S.-listed NIO will begin delivering the latest version of its ES8 all-electric six- and seven-seat sports utility vehicle to Norway in September, NIO CEO William Li said at an event in Shanghai Thursday.
Preorders for the ES8 are expected to begin shortly. Its first EV sedan, the ET7, will launch in the second half of 2022.
“Launching in the European market will definitively help us grow,” Li said at the event. It will set a “higher bar as we’re entering developed countries with more aggressive competition.”
The move marks NIO’s first foray out of China. The carmaker said it chose Norway as its first non-China destination due to the country’s aggressive adaption of electric vehicles.
Norway last year became the first nation in the world to see EVs account for the majority of its annual vehicle sales, thanks to green-friendly government incentives and an extensive charging infrastructure. The country wants all cars sold there to be zero-emission by 2025.
Like Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report, NIO will sell its cars directly to consumers. The company will open its first showroom in Oslo. NIO also plans to build four battery-swap stations with another 12 planned in 2022 across five Norway cities.
NIO's battery-swapping approach differs from other EV makers as it allows customers to buy a car and lease the battery, making it easier to swap out the battery and also much less expensive to buy the car up front.
NIO last month reported a narrower first-quarter loss and said it delivered 20,060 vehicles, more than five times its year-earlier quarterly deliveries and a 16% increase from the 2020 fourth quarter.
At last check, shares of NIO were down 2.63% at $36.71. The stock has fallen roughly 23% this year but is up 942% over the past 12 months.