Chinese electric vehicle company NIO will set a milestone later this year by entering its first market outside of China, the company said on Wednesday.
will expand into Norway, one of the most electric vehicle obsessed countries in the world. The group's first service and delivery center is scheduled to open in September in the capital, Oslo. Four more rooms will be built in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Kristiansand in 2022, as the customer service network is available nationwide, the group said.
"Since its inception, NIO's vision has been to be a global brand providing quality products and services to users worldwide," said William Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO of NIO. "Norway is a sustainable and innovative country and is in line with our vision."
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The company announced that it will set up a “full-fledged ecosystem” in Norway that goes beyond vehicles and services and includes a lifestyle brand and a community app. The group will also invest in the charging infrastructure. By the end of 2022, four battery swap stations in Norway are to connect five major cities.
The first model to be available in Norway will be the ES8, NIO's electric sport utility vehicle, and the ET7, a premium electric sedan, will hit the market in 2022. NIO will compete for the attention of Norwegian drivers with its Chinese rival XPeng
The company delivered more than 100 vehicles to the Scandinavian country in December 2020, with more arriving in 2021.
Norway is an electric vehicle obsessed country in an electric vehicle obsessed region.
According to automotive analyst Matthias Schmidt, more electric vehicles were sold in Europe in 2020 than in any other part of the world. Last year 1.33 million electric vehicles were registered in 18 key European markets. These 18 markets include 14 large EU countries as well as Great Britain, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.
Plus: Forget NIO and XPeng. That company and Tesla will be the top two electric vehicle games by 2025, says UBS.
The electric vehicle explosion in Europe took place amid a pedal-to-the-metal push to increase adoption of clean transportation by European governments, including generous consumer incentives that fueled demand. However, China, which is home to a strong domestic electric vehicle sector, reclaimed its crown as the world's largest electric vehicle market in the first few months of 2021.
However, the introduction of electric vehicles has penetrated far deeper into Norway than any other part of Europe. Battery electric vehicles accounted for nearly 53% of the Norwegian automotive market at the end of the first quarter of 2021, with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles accounting for more than 29%, according to Schmidt, who publishes the European Electric Auto Report.
NIO will face tough competition in a glowing European market. Volkswagen Group
with Stellantis is the leading brand of battery electric vehicles in the region
– The group that emerged from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group earlier this year – not far behind, along with Tesla