Li said Nio is focused on battery-electric vehicles, as opposed to hydrogen fuel cells, because he believes they are the solution for automated driving. “The vehicle is becoming a mobile living space, and that only works with an e-car,” he said.
While he declined to offer sales targets for 2022, he said that at this stage, the company is interested primarily in customer satisfaction.
“My goal for Europe is for Nio to be the brand with the highest customer satisfaction in three years,” he said.
From a financial standpoint, Li said Nio has recently improved its gross margin by more than 20 percent, despite supply chain challenges.
“We are on track [to profitability],” he said. “Tesla took 16 years. We do not need 16 years.”
Cars launched from now on in Europe will all be built on the automaker’s latest NT2 platform, starting with the ET7 large sedan. Deliveries of the ET7 will start this month in Europe, followed by the ET5 midsize sedan and EL7 large SUV in March.
Nio has said it would launch a mass-market brand, as yet unnamed, saying that the new brand’s relationship to Nio would be similar to that of Volkswagen Group to Audi, and Toyota to Lexus.
The company plans to introduce the new mainstream electric brand in Europe a few months after it launches in China in 2024.
Nio also plans to build 1,000 battery swapping stations outside China by 2025, most of them in Europe, to service the expanded EV lineup it will begin selling this year in Germany and other European markets.