In a bold move that defies current industry trends, NIO Automotive Company has announced a significant tactical adjustment for its NOP+ assisted driving technology in the China market. The company is introducing a monthly subscription service for NOP+, which will reduce the number of free battery replacements and require users to purchase home charging piles for a fee.
Starting from July 1st, users will need to pay a monthly fee of 380 RMB ($55) to use the service, which is primarily designed for high-speed and urban expressway scenarios. NIO CEO Li Bin has defended the decision, stating that it reflects the value of the technology and that NOP+ and NAD (NIO’s autonomous driving system) share the same technology stack. He also revealed that NAD will adopt a subscription system in the future.
Despite the new subscription fee, NIO will continue to offer 4 free battery replacements per month and 320 kWh of electricity for free. Li Bin emphasized that the assisted driving hardware that is standard on NIO cars now provides benefits to users who have not subscribed to NOP+ and NAD, including basic assisted driving functions and AEB.
In addition to the subscription service, NIO plans to expand NOP+ to other scenarios beyond high-speed and city express and will add more functions according to user needs. Li Bin also revealed that NOP+ will have a major version iteration on Banyan 2.0, which will take the user experience to a whole new level.
The move by NIO comes amidst rumors that Tesla is planning to enter the Chinese market with its Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology. Li Bin welcomed the news and said that it would be good for Chinese counterparts to learn and compare with them in the Chinese scene.
It remains to be seen how the market will react to NIO’s new subscription service and whether it will have a significant impact on users who want to buy a car. However, the company’s commitment to providing exclusive technology, large-scale services, and free offers may help to mitigate any negative effects.