China's Nio, FAW Group to cooperate on battery charging, swapping

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows NIO electric cars logo

BEIJING (Reuters) -China's Nio and state-owned automaker FAW Group have signed a strategic cooperation agreement for battery charging and swapping, according to their official social media accounts on Wednesday.

The companies will also deepen long-term cooperation in battery charging and swapping, including the establishment of battery technical standards, according to statements made on their respective WeChat and Weibo accounts.

FAW Group will be the seventh automaking partner in battery swapping for Nio after Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), Geely Automobile Holdings and others.

Nio has been betting heavily on EV infrastructure such as battery-swapping and charging stations, raising investor concerns over financial burden.

Nio Chief Executive William Li said last week the company expected its battery-swapping services to earn $10 billion annually when its user base grows by 100 times from half a million units currently.

Li announced plans to add 1,000 more battery-swapping stations this year on top of the existing 2,415.

Nio's domestic rival Li Auto has delayed pure electric SUV launch plans to next year, citing hurdles including insufficient fast chargers.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Subhranshu Sahu)