Nio's Budget Sub-Brand for Europe Spy Shots Published

Battery swap-out brand tests small BEV mule on Chinese city streets.

Paul Myles, European Editor

April 10, 2024

1 Min Read
Nio Firefly Project BEV
Nio's Firefly project sub-brand model in tests. (Image credit: @德卤爱开车 on Weibo)

Nio is claimed to be in the on-road testing stage of developing its first entry-level, urban-focused battery-electric vehicle with its swap-out battery technology aimed at the European market.

Dubbed the Firefly sub-brand project, the automaker stated back in 2021 that it intended to expand its range into the affordable small car sectors and aimed to market the new vehicle in China for less than 200,000 yuan ($27,650).

Chinese auto news website CnEVPost reports that a Chinese car blogger, @德卤爱开车, shared two spy shots on the social media website Weibo, claiming that the model is from Nio's Firefly project.

The blogger describes the model as “cute” while driving on city roads and that it looks to be not far away from series launch.

Following its original announcement of the new small car strategy, Nio subsequently mentions that it would create a brand codenamed Alps for the mainstream mass market and another brand, codename Firefly, for the entry-level market.

The sub-brand codenamed Alps has become Onvo, known as Ledao in China, and Nio is in the midst of a marketing campaign for the brand ahead of its launch in early to mid-May.

Onvo's first model, the L60, will be a competitor to Tesla's Model Y, targeting a market that is expected to be priced between 200,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan ($41,500). The Nio main brand focuses on the premium market priced above RMB 300,000.

Reuters reports that Nio co-founder and president Qin Lihong says the sub-brand codenamed Firefly was in the planning stage and will be delivered to European consumers first aimed at a market launch in 2025 with a range of small models.






About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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