Chinese start-up NIO has begun the sales of its first electric vehicle and the company will take on Elon Musk's Tesla. Nio ES8 SUV is the first product from the Chinese company that has a range of 500 kms. The SUV has taken shape three years after Nio was founded. Initially the company was known as NextEV and is a one of the many startups that got wings after the introduction of incentives for electric carmakers to reduce the import of oil in China.
Nio ES8 gets front and rear motors with all-wheel drive, active air suspension on all trims and an all-aluminum body and chassis that has helped the company to reduce the over all weight of the SUV. The SUV measures over 5 meters in length, about 2 meters in width and stands tall over 3 meters.
Interiors of Nio ES8 SUV is spacious and gives a sense of luxury and high-tech features. It gets black-beige finish with flat-bottomed steering wheel and features a large infotainment system that looks like an i-Pad. The SUV is likely to get massage seats on the top-variants.
The seven-seater Nio ES8 claims to accelrate from 0-100 kmph in about 4.4 seconds. Nio ES8 is priced at 448,000 yuan ($67,783) in the Chinese market and will rival the Tesla Model X that costs 836,000 yuan. William Li, a founder of NIO. “Our goal is to make charging more handy than refueling."
The company claims that the owners of the ES8 can charge their car by swapping batteries at power-swap stations in three minutes or recharge with the help of “Power Mobile” service vehicles. The company had tied up with Mobileye and gets the NV’s Eye Q4 chip, the ES8 also employs NOMI, an artificial intelligence system with functions ranging from adjusting the in-car temperature to communicating with the driver and taking photos.
Nio ES8 also gets a large digital instrument cluster and a steering mounted controls.
Nio plans to build over 1100 power-swap stations in China by 2020 and will help in building the overall ecosystem of electric vehicles in China. William Li also says that a battery-swap station can be assembled with a day.
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