Nio Begins Delivering Its Tesla Model S Fighter – autoweek.com

  • The first Nio ET7 electric luxury sedans are delivered to customers in China, ahead of the scheduled start of sales in Europe later this year.
  • The sedan debuts with a 100-kWh battery powering a dual-motor setup good for 644 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque.
  • Nio’s bet on battery-swap station technology in China goes against current industry trends, which favor increasingly faster corded chargers.

    Nio has begun deliveries of its long awaited ET7 sedan in China this week, as it seeks to replicate Tesla’s success in the country.

    Series production of the full-size electric sedan began several days ago, after the automaker offered test drives to prospective customers recently. The automaker began handing over the first sedans to customers at its headquarters in Hefei, Anhui province.

    The model is expected to be one of the most important launches to date for Nio, promising a range of 419 miles in addition to an eventual rollout of higher levels of autonomous operation. More importantly, it will be among the first luxury EVs from a Chinese automaker to be offered in Europe, with plans to offer the model in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden in 2022.

    As the first EV based on Nio’s second-generation NT2.0 platform, which will be shared with the ES7 SUV and a smaller ET5 sedan, the ET7 features a relatively large 100-kWh battery pack. Nio had previously promised an even grander 150-kWh pack targeting 621 miles of range. The 100-kWh version now being delivered to customers comes with a base price at the equivalent of $70,500.

    Nio plans to offer autonomous-driving capabilities on a subscription basis starting later this year, taking a page from Tesla. With prominent Lidar sensor pods fore and aft and a total of 33 sensors of various types all around the car, the ET7 is expected to offer a Level 2 system at a minimum, in those regions where it will be permitted by local regulations.

    2022 nio et7

    The ET7 has debuted with a 100-kWh battery pack, but the company has promised an even larger one.

    Nio

    “As Nio’s first model on the second-generation technology platform, NT2.0, the ET7 comes standard with over 100 configurations for comfort, safety, and smart technologies, and is equipped with the brand-new software system for the NT2.0, Banyan, that keeps evolving and grows together with our users,” the automaker added. “At the same time, the subscription service of Nio Autonomous Driving (NAD) is expected to be available by region from Q4 this year.”

    While promises of autonomous-driving capability remain murky, the ET7 will serve up plenty of power: a dual-motor setup with 644 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, good enough for 3.9-second sprints from 0 to 60 mph.

    In many ways the ET7 will be China’s answer to the current crop of tech-laden electric sedans, including the Mercedes EQS and the aging Tesla Model S, while erring on the side of luxury rather than sport, in contrast to the Porsche Taycan.

    Where Nio differs significantly from other EV makers is its embrace of battery-swapping stations. The automaker has opened over 800 such stations in its home country so far, with plans to have over 1300 by year’s end. That’s a lot of stations for an automaker that produced its 100,000th car just a year ago.

    At the moment it’s mostly foreign automakers with a presence in China that have to worry about competition from Nio, rather than automakers in Europe. But that could soon change as the company has shown loads of potential in its short existence.

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