Shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO (NIO 2.38%) were rising on Thursday, following reports from a press conference in which the company's CEO discussed some of NIO's goals for 2021.
As of 1:15 p.m. EDT, NIO's American depositary shares were up about 4% from Wednesday's closing price.
NIO held an event on Wednesday to mark the production of its 100,000th vehicle. At a press conference following the event, CEO William Bin Li shared a few items of interest to electric vehicle investors.
First, Li confirmed that NIO, together with the city of Hefei, will begin building a new industrial park for "smart electric vehicles" on April 29. The plan to build the park -- part of a larger plan to establish Hefei as a center for electric vehicle development -- was part of a bailout deal for NIO that was put together by local economic development authorities last year. The park will include a new NIO factory.
The project will be led by a joint venture between NIO and its current manufacturing partner, JAC Motor, Li said.
Li also gave an update on the company's plan to build more automated battery-swap stations in China this year. NIO is in the process of rolling out an improved station design and hopes to have at least 500 stations operating by the end of 2021. That's roughly double the total it had at the end of 2020.
The battery-swap stations are a key component of NIO's "batteries-as-a-service" program, in which buyers purchase a NIO without a battery pack and then pay a monthly fee to subscribe to the battery-swap service. The program gives the buyer a lower up-front price, making NIO's vehicles accessible to more people, while providing NIO with recurring revenue.
Li also confirmed that NIO now has the production capacity to build up to 10,000 vehicles per month. But, he said, the company is limiting production to 7,500 per month for the time being, in light of ongoing shortages of battery cells and semiconductors.
Li said the semiconductor shortage could cause additional production disruptions for NIO over the next couple of months, but he expects supplies to improve in the third quarter.