Xiaomi and Huawei to Invest in NIO Battery Supplier Welion New Energy, Sources Say

Jiangsu Welion New Energy, a semisolid-state battery supplier of Chinese electric vehicle firm NIO, will receive investment from strategic institutions such as Xiaomi and Huawei, according to 36Kr. The project is valued at 5 billion yuan ($782.5 million), with an investment of about 500 million yuan. As of the afternoon of November 26, the core executives of Welion New Energy did not comment.

Sources also revealed that Huawei, Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital had signed a contract in August in which they decided to invest in Welion New Energy. At present, Xiaomi has entered the delivery process.

According to its official website, Welion New Energy focuses on the R&D and production of mixed solid-liquid electrolyte lithium-ion batteries and all solid-state lithium batteries, and is the only industrialization platform of solid-state battery technology in the Renewable Energy Frontier Research Laboratory, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Founded in 2016, the company is headquartered in Beijing and has three production bases in Beijing, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The firm’s business previously focused on 3C consumer electronics before it entered NIO‘s supply chain and became the semi-solid battery supplier of this leading electric vehicle company.

Moreover, at the NIO Day conference on January 7 this year, NIO launched a 150-degree semi-solid battery pack, which can support the maximum battery life of NIO ET7 for 1,000 kilometers. Li Bin, CEO of the firm, introduced then that this semi-solid battery can increase the energy density by 50% to 360Wh/kg compared with conventional ternary lithium battery. This battery would be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022. The news once caused the stock price of the lithium battery industry to fluctuate.

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According to the report, NIO‘s semi-solid battery scheme is provided by Welion New Energy in Beijing. In the industrial and commercial registration information of Welion New Energy, Zeng Shuxiang, a senior executive of NIO, is also listed as a director. Not long ago, NIO‘s subsidiary XPT held an external communication meeting, and Zeng’s position was shown as senior vice president of NIO ES & EI (which refers to the industrialization department of “electric drive system” + “electric drive system and battery system”).

This is also the first time that NIO has introduced a battery supplier since it began cooperation with CATL. In the installed capacity ranking of CATL, NIO is the second largest passenger car customer after Tesla.

Huawei, Xiaomi and other investors in Welion New Energy may have taken a fancy to its mass production, and chosen to offer it significant support.