SHANGHAI electric car maker NIO is building a test facility in the United States for its customers to lease electric-car battery packs, taking a small step towards expanding its battery as a service (Baas) business model, reports Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.
The facility near Nio's local headquarters in San Jose, California may be operational by November, according to two unidentified people familiar with the matter. Nio would not confirm the report, saying only that it was "moving forward with the relevant work as planned."
Nio, founded in 2014 by entrepreneur William Li, was the first Chinese maker of electric cars to embark on battery rental to augment its vehicle sales, which can slash the cost of alternative-fuel cars by up to 20 per cent and make them more affordable to the driving public.
Mr Li envisions building an assembly in the US by 2025. The plan has not been announced officially in any form.
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