Chinese electric auto maker launches NIO

20 December, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • The 2015 Kia Soul EV is shown while charging on display at the LA Auto Show's press and trade day in Los Angeles

It has a starting price of 836,000 yuan ($126,470). There's an AI assistant in the auto called NOMI, which uses in-car and cloud computing to "turn the ES8 into a fun, expressive, and intuitive companion that can listen, talk, and help drivers along the way".

Despite being much cheaper than its USA -based rival, the Nio ES8 sounds like it can hold its own against the Model X. It's a large, all-wheel drive seven seater that accelerates to from 0 to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds. The California EV company has been trying to get around these restrictions, which were put in place by the Chinese government in order to promote its own companies.

Li added that Tesla might sell less, once the ES8 is out, or more likely, since the market is now growing, they will maintain growth.

When people think of luxury electric vehicles (EV), one of the companies that'll inevitably cross their mind is Tesla, maker of the Tesla Model S, Model X, and the Model 3.

Unlike Tesla, Nio has adopted a battery swap system, which will enable owners to swap their vehicles' battery packs for fully charged packs in about three minutes at stations around the country.

China now boasts the world's largest electric vehicle market.

However, Li did say that many customers that Nio has, have turned from Tesla to them and many have also bought and continue to buy products from both companies.

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According to Nio, about 1,100 "Power Swap" stations will be built by 2020.

The state-supported push of the China EV market along with its technology has enticed global auto giants such as Volkswagen and BMW to join in along with tech giants from China - Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.

NIO is a Chinese start-up founded in 2014 that designs and develops smart, high-performance electric vehicles under the NIO brand.

Nio is reportedly considering an initial public offering in the USA next year.

"I doubt Tesla will offer similar services in China", said Li. With more and more players entering the market, the company needs to realize its promises quick or be driven out of the market entirely, no pun intended.

Li said a better understanding of Chinese consumers was expected to give domestic carmakers an edge when competing with companies such as Tesla.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Nio introduced a battery charging plan with a rental subscription set at 1,200 yuan ($181) a month.



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