Nio's power unit is on track to operate 1,100 charging stations and 1,200 power delivery vans by 2020 in cities across mainland China. Wire photo.

New energy vehicle startup Nio has the best quality among all electric auto brands, outperforming its counterparts by established luxury car makers, the findings of a new study show.

Yicai Global reported that Shanghai-based Nio ranked first for quality with a score of 67 PP100, or the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, followed by BMW, which scored 82 PP100, according to a study by US market research agency J.D. Power released today.

Nio and WM Motor were the only two Chinese NEV startups included in the research, the report said.

The industry average was 89 problems per 100 vehicles, with Chinese NEV brands by traditional car manufacturers having the most at 90 PP100. Luxury brands scored best with 69 PP100.

The top four complaints by green car owners were insufficient engine power (2.7 PP100), slow charging speed (1.9 PP100), abnormal reduction of endurance mileage (1.8 PP100) and abnormal powertrain noises (1.4 PP100).

In general, though, NEV owners were satisfied with their overall user experience, such as performance, operation and design, the report said.

The research, covering 41 models from 21 brands, is based on feedback from 2,770 car owners who bought their vehicles between last September and March this year.

It focuses on the quality issues encountered by NEV owners within the first two to six months of ownership.

Nio represents the class of EV startups that could shake up the Chinese auto industry by building brands with an image premium enough to appeal to China’s rich customers, who have always looked to German, Japanese, and American brands.

Meanwhile, after laying off 70 workers and closing an office in the US, Chinese automaker Nio is searching its cupboards for cash, GreenCarReports reported.

EV sales have foundered in China this year after generous subsidies expired. and several companies have delayed or abandoned expansion plans. Nio seems to be no exception, except that it has other resources it can look to cash in.

Nio is reportedly seeking a buyer for its power systems in China, including its charging stations and battery swap station, mobile power delivery vans, charging technology integration services, and charging station maps, the report said.

The company said it has invested US$290 million in the operations. Nio’s power unit is on track to operate 1,100 charging stations and 1,200 power delivery vans by 2020 in cities across mainland China, and it aims for the launch of an independent app for Nio Power in the next two months.

The company also operates a US$1.5 billion venture investment fund in the US and is seeking new opportunities to invest in new electric car technologies.

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