New NIO ES8 electric SUV is a cheaper Tesla Model X

20 December, 2017, 01:39 | Author: Luis Fowler
  • William Li Founder and Chairman of Chinese automaker NIO launches the NIO ES8 electric SUV during an event held in Beijing China Saturday Dec. 16 2017

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

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. This is half the price for the Model X, which starts at 836,000 yuan ($128,660) after import duties in China.

Chinese buyers looking to get away from cars that pollute have a new green option available called the NIO ES8.

Nio plans to start deliveries of ES8 in China from 2018.

Another angle NIO is going after is convenience.

In October, China's Ministry of Commerce confirmed that Tesla was negotiating with the Shanghai government to build a production facility in the country after reports surfaced that Tesla and the Shanghai government reached a deal to establish a wholly owned electric-vehicle factory in the city's free trade zone.

But "there is no winner-take-all rule in this industry", Qin added. "Right now we don't have information to share on that", Li told CNBC. "We don't need to care about the competition too much".

Hostesses unveil a model of Audi's new Q7 SUV car during a presentation at the company's annual press conference in Ingolstadt southern Germany
Audi's Q7 4x4. Christophe Stache AFP

Nio is considering a US Initial Public Offering next year, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The company plans to build a total of 1,100 Power Swap stations and deploy 1,200 Power Mobile vehicles by 2020.

Those batteries promise the highest energy density of its kind with a 2,000-charge lifecycle. The rental plan will cost RMB 1,280 monthly and provides battery upgrade services, roadside assistance, and nationwide charging among other things.

ES8 owners can charge their vehicles at stations that offer swapping out of their batteries in just three minutes, said Nio in its press release. However, this lead has largely been erased without the company achieving financial viability.

But in China, it's entering an already crowded market for electric cars.

NIO, which was founded in 2014 and counts Chinese tech giants such as Tencent Holdings, Baidu and Xiaomi among its investors, launched the ES8 - its first production vehicle - in Beijing at a base price of 448,000 yuan (US$67,788) before subsidies.

As for technology, the ES8 boasts autonomous technology - named Nio Pilot - which sees 23 sensors and four exterior cameras work together, allowing the vehicle to drive itself when activated, similar to Tesla's Autopilot tech.

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