Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO, formerly known as NextEV, has launched its first production vehicle, the all-electric NIO ES8 SUV.
With 220 miles of range, fast charging that will recharge the battery entirely in one hour, battery pack swapping capabilities for thee-minute refueling and more, the NIO ES8, which starts at 448,000 Chinese yuan (about $68,000) before subsidies, is half the starting price of Tesla’s 836,000 yuan (about $126,500) Model X in China.
A battery rental plan is available to NIO users, which provides a 100,000 Chinese yuan (about $15,000) discount on the purchase price of the ES8. The battery rental subscription is 1,280 Chinese yuan (about $190) per month and enables ES8 owners to enjoy battery upgrading services, along with quality assurance, roadside assistance, car connectivity, and nationwide charging services. The NIO ES8 is customized and will be made to order. Those interested in purchasing an ES8 can place an order through the NIO App.
With both front and rear motors, the NIO ES8 delivers 480 kilowatts of power and 840 Newton meters of torque to all four wheels. This E-powertrain enables the ES8 to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 4.4 seconds. The latest active air suspension on all ES8’s models creates comfortable, connected riding experience.
The ES8 is equipped with a 70-kilowatt-hour liquid-cooled battery pack comprised of cutting-edge VDA square cell batteries. These cells feature the highest energy density of their kind and provide a 2,000-charge lifecycle. The ES8’s drag coefficient is as low as 0.29. The ES8 achieves over 500 kilometers (310 miles) of range when constantly run at 60 km/h (37 mph), and the car achieves an NEDC range of 355 kilometers (220 miles).
The NIO ES8 is the first car to have an all-aluminum body and chassis featuring aerospace grade 7003 series aluminum alloy, enabling a torsional stiffness of 44,140 Nm/Deg. The ES8 features the highest amount of aluminum for any mass production car. With the excellent passive safety design and 21 active safety features, the ES8 stands out among vehicles in its class.
The ES8 is produced at a world-class fully automated factory. The R&D, design, supply chain, and factory ensure the ES8’s premium quality. The ES8 will finish a 3,000,000 km road test before NIO begins delivering the vehicle to users.
The ES8 has a 3,010 millimeter long wheelbase, the longest in its class, to create a truly mobile living space. The three-row, seven-seat layout makes full use of the interior space. The innovative “lounge seat” and “child-care mode”, together with the Nappa leather wrap, creates a cozy atmosphere, making users feel at home. The smart air quality system includes an activated carbon and HEPA filter and negative ion generator.
NIO also launched NIO Pilot, its comprehensive advanced driver assistance system. NIO PILOT is enabled by 23 sensors, including a trifocal front-facing camera, four surround exterior cameras, five millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a driver monitor camera. The ES8 is the world’s first vehicle to come equipped with the Mobileye EyeQ4, which has a computation capacity nine-times more powerful than its predecessors. NIO PILOT’s software and hardware suite enables subscribers to enjoy upgraded services through FOTA updates.
NIO introduced NOMI, the world’s first in-car AI system. Powered by both in-car and cloud computation, NOMI interacts with people sitting in the vehicle and its emotion engine gives users a friend on the road. NOMI combines the ES8’s intelligence and car connectivity functionalities to turn the ES8 into a fun, expressive, and intuitive companion that can listen, talk, and help drivers along the way.
NIO also unveiled NIO Power, a new charging experience that allows the ES8’s battery to be swapped in three minutes. NIO Power also includes NIO Power Home, super charger network, and Power Mobile. Power Mobile is a brand-new power service product developed by NIO, which enables an ES8 to run 100 kilometers (62 miles) after charging for ten minutes. By 2020, NIO plans to build over 1,100 Power Swap Stations and deploy over 1,200 Power Mobile vehicles.
Powered by big data and cloud services, NIO’s power cloud connects each of the super chargers, power swap stations, NIO Mobile vehicles, battery pack, ES8, NIO Specialist and NIO’s user. As a result, NIO’s users can enjoy worry-free power services with just one click. The same mobile connectivity is also applied to vehicle services. NIO’s services cloud also integrates each of the NIO House, repair center, delivery center, service car, ES8, NIO Specialist and NIO user to provide worry-free services.
NIO also announces a strategic partnership with JD and SF Express to provide NIO users with in-car delivery services.
NIO has opened NIO Houses in Beijing, and announces their plan to open more NIO Houses in nine more cities in 2018, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Hefei, Suzhou and Wuhan.