Wen/Yang Yaru Zhang Yan Editor/Xiting Yiou Columnist
On July 16, Euro 100 million automobiles learned through multi-party interviews that Weilai will split its energy supply service NIOPower and seek to complete independent financing in Q4 this year, with a scale of billions of yuan. The project is led by the founder, chairman and CEO of Weilai, Li Bin, President of Weilai, Qin Lihong, Vice President of Weilai Automotive Power Management, Shen Fei and others, or will be launched in the next two months as an independent APP. At the same time, NIOPower will be renamed, and the final name has not yet been determined. According to people familiar with the situation, NIOPower has a team of thousands of people who have opened services in major cities in mainland China.
Li Bin, founder, chairman and CEO of Weilai
As for this information, no official confirmation has been given by Weilai as of the date of submission.
In the future, it will be more convenient to add electricity than to refuel. Li Bin once described the future new energy automobile market in this way when he was listed in the IPO. Now, besides the production of electric vehicles, he has taken a fancy to the power-up link. It is understood that the split NIOPower will be based on the original five business lines, including super charging pile, charging car, one-button charging, power exchange, charging map.
Layout Cut Cake
As the iron follower of Tesla, Weilai not only studied Tesla in the mode, but also in the layout of charging network, Weilai also laid out earlier in the new forces of domestic automobile manufacturing.
As a self-proclaimed user experience car company, Weilai in the launch of NIOPower, hoping to let owners in charge no worries behind. As a result, Weilai has invested to build a whole service system, including home charging piles, power stations, fast charging piles, mobile charging vehicles, escort service and third-party charging facilities.
Photo Source: Weilai Official Website
Up to now, it has deployed more than 100 power stations and more than 500 rechargeable vehicles in the first and second-tier cities of China. Not long ago, NIOPower Charger started trial operation in Weilai Delivery Center, Suzhou. The first overfilling station contains four overfilling piles.
According to people familiar with the matter, Weilai has invested about 2 billion yuan in NIOPower at present. This data has not been confirmed by Weilai, but the cost of building a charging service system is not low - besides service personnel, there is not much room for reducing hardware and operating costs in the short term, only by improving efficiency to reduce the overall cost. According to the plan previously announced by Weilai, it will build more than 1100 power stations nationwide in 2020, and put more than 1200 mobile charging vehicles into operation at the same time.
Photo Source: Weilai Official Website
Today, Weilai sells less than 20,000 vehicles, which is limited by many factors such as order volume, production capacity and so on. It is also very difficult for Weilai to have a significant increase in a few years. It is obviously not cost-effective to use such a huge amount of money to build a network to serve a wide range of systematic products. Although Li Bin once said, Weilais positioning for NIOPower is: no money, hope to eventually be equal. But under the pressure of capital, Weilai lost 23.3 billion yuan in 2018 and Q1 lost more than 2.6 billion yuan in 2019. Splitting NIOPower into financing can ease the tension of capital flow on the one hand, and also have greater benefits on the other.
(Weilai Business Status)
(Weilai sales situation)
There are signs that Weilai will open its charging business to the society. In April this year, Weilai announced that it would officially open its one-button power-up service to other brands of electric vehicles.
As a very important part of the electric vehicle industry, the charging network still has broad prospects.
According to the Guidelines for the Development of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (2015-2020), issued by the Development and Reform Commission, the development goal of Chinas charging infrastructure is to build 12,000 centralized charging stations and 4.8 million decentralized charging piles by 2020, meeting the charging demand of 5 million electric vehicles in China. According to this calculation, the corresponding total investment of charging pile will exceed 184 billion yuan, and the corresponding profit margin of charging network is 55.8 billion yuan, of which 23.3 billion yuan is added profit margin.
This is only the data up to 2020. In the future, with electric vehicles replacing fuel vehicles, the importance of charging pile market as infrastructure facilities is self-evident. In this area, people are wondering whether it will rush out of another trillion market capitalization of New PetroChina.
Wei Lai wants to cut a piece of cake.
Blue Sea Turns Red Sea
Separation and opening of the charging system may be the best option, but it is not so easy. In the cold winter of capital, financing is difficult. According to Euro 100 million automobiles to people familiar with the situation, Weilais plan to split the charging system started at the end of last year, but due to the environment, progress is not smooth.
As far as Weilais own charging business system is concerned, burning money may continue for some time. In order to meet the needs of personalized services, at present, charging vehicles, one-button power-up and other businesses are difficult to get rid of the high operating costs.
Another problem is that this is clearly no longer a blue sea.
In recent years, more and more enterprises have entered this market, and the competition is becoming increasingly fierce. Previously, under the guidance of national policy, the State Grid and the Southern China Grid undertook the construction of charging pile system; after the opening of private capital into the market, special calls, Star Charging and other enterprises also added code layout. In addition to the construction of charging piles, charging operation services are becoming another battlefield for players in the new energy industry.
Especially in the past six months, the rapid growth of electric vehicle sales has made alliance a key word. In December 2018, state grid, southern grid, special calls, star charging and other charging operation enterprises jointly established the new energy vehicle charging service network platform Link Science and Technology. On July 11, 2019, Volkswagen Group, FAW Group, Jianghuai Automobile and Star Charging announced the establishment of a joint venture to establish Khmers New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. Division (CAMS).
For Yulai, the split charging service system can obviously achieve greater benefits, but also to Yulai system of electric travel ecology to achieve complementary. But like Weilais operation, the construction of charging service system still bears tremendous financial and operational pressure. In addition, although it is a good idea to separate the charging business from the whole companys business model, how to not reduce their experience is another difficult problem for the owners of Weilai system. If split, there is no further information on whether there is a difference between Ulai owners and other brand owners.
The cake is there, but under the cold winter of capital, can Li Bin persuade capital to bet this time?
Source: Editor-in-Charge of Euronet: Qiao Junjing_NBJ11279