Li Yan, the CEO of smart urban mobility solutions provider Niu Technologies, has said that the firm is now looking for alternative new battery technologies. In 2023, the company plans to launch its first two-wheeled electric vehicle equipped with sodium-ion batteries, as reported by China Securities Journal on August 6.
Li said that under the same range, sodium-ion batteries were heavier than lithium batteries, but they bring cost advantages. In the case of limited increases in car prices, Li stressed the need to find ways of reducing costs in other aspects.
Influenced by the pandemic and an ongoing lack of raw materials, many enterprises in the two-wheeled electric vehicle industry have raised prices consecutively, especially after the increase of lithium battery’s price. The company, established in 2014, raised the retail price of all its lithium battery products on April 1, ranging from 200 yuan to 1,000 yuan ($29.58-$147.9). The price increase was only 7%, while its competitors generally raised prices by 9% to 15% during the same period.
Simultaneously, the company has made certain adjustments to the battery products’ structure. Li said that with continuous breakthroughs in the lead-acid battery technology throughout the past two years, its quality assurance and battery life had been extended, so some of the firm’s models began to use nano-graphene lead-acid batteries.
In addition, the power batteries used by the firm’s products also included lithium ferromanganese phosphate batteries. “This year, products equipped with lead-acid batteries account for a larger proportion. We opened many stores last year in second-tier and third-tier cities, and the lead-acid batteries meet the needs of local consumers. In addition, the entire industry has shown a resurgence of changing from lithium batteries to lead-acid batteries in the short term,” Li said.
At present, the company has formed a product matrix including electric motorcycles, e-bikes, electric bicycles and electric scooters. Li also said that with the launch of new competitive products and the arrival of the peak sales season, the company’s third-quarter performance was expected to recover steadily.
According to a plan released at the beginning of this year, the firm was expected to sell 1.5-1.7 million vehicles globally in 2022, including 1.3-1.5 million vehicles in China and 200,000-300,000 in overseas markets.