Hongqi parent FAW will join Nio’s battery swap alliance as 7th member, report says

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State-owned First Automobile Works (FAW) will join Nio’s battery swap alliance as its 7th memeber, local media reports. FAW owns the Hongqi brand, which recently revealed a version of its Hongqi EHS7 SUV with battery swap support as it applied for market homologation in China.

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FAW is the second-largest member of the Big Four, the four largest state-owned automakers. The other three are SAIC Motor, Dongfeng Motor, and Changan Automobile, of which the last one is also a member of the alliance.

The current members of Nio’s battery swap alliance are GAC Group, Geely Holding, Chery Automobile, Changan Automobile, JAC, and Lotus Technology, majority owned by Geely Holding. FAW would be the seventh member, Cailin News Agency reports.

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Previously, Nio’s CEO and co-founder William Li stated that the Nio-led alliance has seven members, including Nio, and more will join in the future. Li also hopes that Nio will have 10,000 swap stations in the future if more members join, which would be enough to support 10 million vehicles.

Nio currently has 2,416 swap stations in China and about 40 in Europe. About 1,000 of them are 3rd and 4th generation which supports Nio’s brand Onvo.

Last year at the Shanghai Auto Show, Hongqi revealed an E001 all-electric sedan with battery swap support. However, since then, no news has come regarding this car.

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This week, on May 14, the regulator under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) revealed the list of homologation fillings, which included Hongqi EHS7 SUV with battery swap applying for a sales license in China.

Aside from Hongqi, which is its flagship brand, FAW also owns Bestune, which focuses on electric budget city cars. Moreover, FAW is Volkswagen’s major joint venture partner in China, producing the ID. series EVs in a 50:50 shared plant.

FAW recently accelerated its electrification plans and announced last year it plans to launch 15 NEV models in the next three years and reach an accumulated NEV production target of 1.45 million units by 2025.

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