GUANGZHOU -- Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio is set to double its research and development expenditure this year from a year earlier, as industry players pour more money into their ventures to compete in the global EV race.
The U.S.-listed company revealed at an earnings teleconference Tuesday that it will spend around 5 billion yuan ($772 million) this year through December, which is also its fiscal year.
Nio had announced in January that it would commercialize by the last quarter of 2022 its latest battery which, when fully charged, has a range of over 1,000 kilometers. The company is likely to use its R&D budget on developing related technologies.
"We will increase investment in research and development and promote mass production of core technologies and new models," said Chief Executive William Li.
The company cut R&D expenditure for fiscal 2020 to 2.4 billion yuan, down 40% from a year earlier.
Nio also said that recent shortages in semiconductors and batteries are limiting its EV production capacity to 7,500 vehicles a month. "The supply [for the components] will catch up by July," Li said, adding that the startup plans to ramp up annual capacity to 150,000 to 300,000 vehicles by year-end.
Nio posted sales of 16.2 billion yuan for fiscal year 2020, or 2.1 times more than a year earlier. It recorded a net loss of 5.3 billion yuan, against a net loss of 11.2 billion yuan in 2019. It delivered 43,728 cars in 2020, double the amount a year ago, a development that helped to reduce its deficit.
Nio, often dubbed China's Tesla, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in September 2018.