Chinese automaker NIO on Monday released a portable charging and discharging integrated machine that aims to meet a variety of needs. It will reportedly be available for rentals at the end of July, supporting all NIO models released for mass production and other brands with national standard charging ports.
The device can be charged, discharged, and can be directly connected to a 220V outlet. It can also take power from the DC charging port of the vehicle, with a maximum of 2.85kW DC charging power and a maximum of 3.3kW discharging power. It is protected against electric shocks, overcharging, over-discharging, short circuits and overheating, and it supports IP66-level dustproofing and waterproofing.
The machine is currently only available through official channels for weekly rentals. The rental rate is 168 yuan ($25.28) per week, and is it expected to operate on a trial basis in the first batch of cities at the end of July, then open for national operations at the end of August.
However, the news has caused a heated debate in the NIO community. A related article received more than two thousand comments, and many NIO users complained that it would only be rented and not sold, or that they did not want the charging device but only the ESD Generator, among other problems.
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William Li, the founder of NIO, said: “We accept criticism from everyone. The initial capacity is low and we want to give more users the opportunity to use it, but we also want to use the battery swap station to provide camping scenarios such as the rental demand. The rental price considered idle time and labor. We didn’t expect so many users to have the need to buy. We accept your criticism and will discuss more service options as soon as possible.”
NIO responded through its official account, writing: “We will promote the research on portable charging and discharging machines with buyout service. At the initial stage of product launch, the production capacity will be relatively low, and the rental mode can serve more users.”