Chinese electric-vehicle maker (EV) NIO celebrated the shipment of its first battery swap station from Biatorbagy, Hungary, to Germany on Friday, produced by NIO Power Europe, the company's first overseas plant. NIO said that the facility will support its commitment to installing 1,000 battery swap stations outside China by 2025. In the second half of this year, NIO's integrated power services and automotive products are said to be available in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.
NIO's overseas factory is the epitome of Chinese enterprises' approach to the new-energy vehicle (NEV) industrial chain expanding its overseas footprint. China has already dominated the entire downstream NEV battery supply chain, namely cell components manufacturing, battery cells manufacturing and NEV manufacturing according to the International Energy Agency. China produces 75 percent of all lithium batteries and is home to 70 percent of production capacity for cathodes and 85 percent for anodes, both key components used in batteries. Among the world's top 10 power battery suppliers, Chinese companies account for half, with a market share of 37.3 percent. But Chinese enterprises are still accelerating their global layout to increase their capacities in mining and material processing, the upstream components of battery production.
Since lithium is an indispensable material for battery cell manufacturing, Chinese enterprises, including battery makers and carmakers, have sought to expand material exploration. For example, Ganfeng Lithium, China's No.1 producer of battery metal, started construction of the Mariana Lithium in Argentina in June. Zijin Mining Group acquired Canadian lithium miner Neo Lithium Corp in January. It is also reported that BYD was in talks to buy six lithium mines in Africa in June, with total reserves of lithium oxide at 2.5 percent grade estimated at more than 25 million tons.
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