COP 28 | NIO Capital’s Ian Zhu: Pioneering Investment in Climate Tech



At the 28th United Nations Climate Conference (COP28), Ian Zhu, Managing Partner of NIO Capital, shared insights on “Bridging the Gap in Digital Infrastructure and Climate Tech” at the invitation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The discussion delved into advancing climate technology innovation and tackling the formidable challenges posed by climate change.


Here are some key excerpts from Ian Zhu’s address:


NIO Capital has crafted an investment ecosystem that comprises leading companies across diverse domains, including autonomous driving, auto and components, battery technology, and energy transition. Our collective efforts have empowered over 70 companies to drive global sustainable development.


When discussing investments in the automotive sector, Ian Zhu emphasizes the pivotal role of electrification in combating climate change. NIO Capital invests in automobile-related industrial chain companies, actively accelerating electrification while championing energy efficiency. Some notable examples include:


  • Autonomous Driving: NIO Capital’s investment in Inceptio, a trailblazer in autonomous driving technology, focuses on line-haul logistics scenarios. By providing logistics enterprises with safer, more efficient, and energy-saving solutions, Inceptio has achieved a remarkable feat: mass production of L3 intelligent trucks and global leadership in autonomous driving heavy-duty trucks.


  • Smart Electric Vehicles: China’s rapid adoption of new energy vehicles (NEVs) owes much to consumer enthusiasm for smart electric vehicles. With approximately 40% of new car sales being NEVs, the industry is witnessing a transformative shift. Comfortable interiors, intelligent application platforms, and seamless driving experiences have turned cars into extensions of homes and offices.



As the industry evolves, NIO Capital remains committed to supporting outstanding companies as they shape the future. Their investments not only drive innovation but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable world.


As we journey toward a zero-carbon future, fresh investment opportunities continue to emerge. NIO Capital has positioned itself in critical domains:


  • Battery Technology: NIO Capital has invested in CATL, the world’s largest battery manufacturers. Their cutting-edge battery technologies play a pivotal role in electrification and energy storage. Another investment by NIO Capital, Ronbay Technology, excels in research, development, and manufacturing of lithium battery cathode materials. Their innovations contribute to the global shift toward cleaner energy solutions.


  • Energy Transition: NIO Capital supports Sunman, an innovative technology company specializing in lightweight photovoltaic solutions. Sunman’s groundbreaking product, the eArc lightweight component, is glass-free, thin, and flexible. It seamlessly integrates into various applications, including lightweight roofs, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), mobile energy solutions, robotics, and outdoor activities. Sunman’s vision expands the horizons of photovoltaic technology.

    The fund’s investment in AlphaESS empowers advanced distributed energy resources, energy storage products, and smart energy management solutions. These innovations benefit households, industrial enterprises, commercial establishments, power grids, and utility companies.

    NIO Capital also backs innovative technology companies that enhance the efficiency of charging stations and gas stations through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. Renewable energy sources—such as solar and wind energy—offer advantages beyond being “clean” and “renewable.” Their cost-effectiveness and minimal maintenance requirements make them increasingly attractive. 


Ian Zhu emphasized that the advancement of new technologies and infrastructure requires the backing of policy support and collaboration among different countries and regions. NIO Capital’s responsibility is to persistently identify and back technological innovations that cater to the demands of the energy transition market.


In the meeting, Ian Zhu shared NIO Capital’s ESG investment practices and underscored the importance of technological innovation, infrastructure, policy support, and international cooperation.


NIO Capital, with its mission of “Invest in Innovations and Sustainability to Advance Humankind”, sticks to the principle of sustainable development to ensure that investments carry public wellness, social, and economic value. We stand by our portfolio companies, supporting them in fostering technological transformation and contributing to a zero-carbon future.


The AIIB is a long-standing partner of NIO Capital. AIIB’s investments in infrastructure and other productive sectors seek to foster sustainable economic development, create wealth and improve infrastructure connectivity.


NIO Capital will persist in collaborating with the AIIB to ensure finance serves technological innovation more effectively and hastens the realization of the zero-carbon vision.