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EV manufacturer NIO has joined forces with Shell to construct battery charging and swapping stations in its native China. 

The plan will see the two companies collaborate to build 100 battery swapping stations in the country by 2025, as well as constructing and operating some pilot stations in Europe from next year.

As part of the deal, Shell’s charging network will become available to NIO drivers. 

“This cooperation demonstrates Shell’s determination to accelerate the energy transition and its commitment to contribute to sustainable development globally,” says William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO.

“We believe that the cooperation between NIO and Shell will bring better services and experiences to electric vehicle users worldwide.”

“Worldwide,” however, might be pushing it slightly. At the moment, NIO is only active in China and Norway – the country with the highest EV market penetration rate in the world. Plans are afoot for NIO to expand into more European markets, though we don’t know exactly when.

The new deal with Shell, though, should help NIO’s expansion efforts.

“Based on the strategic development of both brands,” reads a statement, “NIO and Shell will join forces to leverage each other’s strengths and contribute to the development of the smart electric vehicle industry.”

For Shell, however, the upside is clear – access to new drivers and a chance to try out battery swapping at scale in China. 

“Decarbonization is a global challenge that requires broad-reaching, multi-faceted global solutions,” says István Kapitány, global executive vice president of Shell Mobility.

“This is the most exciting aspect of our new partnership with NIO—the breadth of the collaboration and the value we can offer our EV customers both in Europe and in China. Together, we’ll be working to improve every element of the EV experience. This means we’ll offer Shell Recharge high-speed charging at NIO locations and make battery swapping available at convenient Shell locations. We will also be offering NIO customers our best home and business charging solutions.”

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