Eastern China’s Qingdao Secures NIO Vehicles for Police Use, Faces Online Scrutiny

NIO delivered eight of its ES6 models as police cars to the Laoshan District of the city of Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province on November 18, after which a number of internet users questioned whether these vehicles, which start at 358,000 yuan ($56,050), were in violation of procurement procedures.

On the evening of November 20, Jimu News reported that the eight police vehicles being put into use are mainly for all-day patrols in Laoshan District, and the relevant procurement practices are in line with procedures and standards, citing a source in charge of official vehicle management in the Qingdao city government.

These new energy vehicles that support body-battery separation can switch to a new battery with 100% electricity in 3.5 minutes, greatly improving their travel efficiency.

The city’s decision to purchase NIO vehicles was based on input from departments that have a need for the vehicles.

Many departments said ordinary electric vehicles take 40 minutes to charge to 80 percent in the fastest scenario, which is a limitation for departments that use vehicles frequently, posing a potential risk to public security. “We found after field research that vehicles supporting battery swap could solve this problem, so we chose NIO,” the person said.

In September this year, NIO won the vehicle procurement tender of Laoshan Branch of Qingdao Municipal Public Security Bureau for 1,999,200 yuan. An announcement showed that the local public security bureau purchased the NIO ES6 Sport model, with a quantity of 8 units and a unit price of 249,900 yuan.  

According to domestic regulations, the purchase price of emergency security vehicles should be within 180,000 yuan, and the price of law enforcement duty vehicles should be within 120,000 yuan. If special circumstances do exist, these two types of use models can be equipped with small- and medium-sized vehicles priced within 250,000 yuan, or large vehicles priced within 450,000 yuan. This means that the NIO vehicles are selected as police vehicles in compliance with the current Chinese government procurement regulations.

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There are now more than 1,000 new energy vehicles (NEVs) among Qingdao’s official fleet. The city’s newly purchased official vehicles in the past two years are all NEVs, except for emergency vehicles, fire trucks and classified vehicles, the source said.