Chinese electric-car company Nio has launched its first sedan named ET7. With this vehicle, the maker has upped the competition for current market leader Tesla, a US-based company, and other international competitors.
Nio founder and CEO William Li launched the all-new electric sedan ET7 on Saturday evening, 9th January 2021. It starts at a price of 448,000 yuan ($69,193). If the Chinese government provides any subsidy, the common man will be able to buy it at a lower price. However, an entry-level Tesla Model 3 costs just 265,740 which is also built-in China. The company’s plan is to deliver the first ET7 in the first quarter of 2022.
With the all-new electric car, Nio has also come up with a bigger volume battery pack that will help in increasing the driving range. The other launches include an upgraded autopilot system and the battery-swap station. On these stations, people will be able to change the battery rather than re-charging it. The firm hopes to establish 500 such stations by the end of 2021.
Nio has partnered with NVIDIA for NVIDIA DRIVE Orin™ system-on-a-chip (SoC) for its new generation of electric vehicles. Li said that NIO’s in-house developed autonomous driving algorithms will be running on four industry-leading NVIDIA Orin processors, delivering an unprecedented 1000+ TOPS in production cars.
Nio had an outstanding last year. In early 2020, the automobile company seemed to have spent all of its money on marketing and building spectacular showrooms for its ES6 and ES8 electric SUVs. However, in April 2020, the automaker received indirect funding of $1 billion from the municipal government of Hefei. Then, in July 2020, it received a credit line of $1.5 billion from Chinese banks.
By the end of last year, Nio’s shares in New York went up 1,112%. The auto-company ended 2020 with gross positive margin reports as delivered 43,728 vehicles.
The Chief Executive Officer Li marked the likes of BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi AG as the main competitors of Nio. He spoke in Shanghai before the event and added that while Tesla hopes to become a Volkswagen or Ford in electric-vehicle manufacturing, Nio aims to produce premium cars.
The straight competition of Nio’s new sedan will be against Tesla’s best-selling Model 3. In 2020, Tesla sold over 120,000 units in China. The California-based has also made Model Y SUV which is also built-in China. It went on for sale on January 1, 2020, and costs 339,000 Yuan. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said that Model Y can outsell all of the cars that it makes.
According to Li, the ET7 is a rival to the Model S of Tesla if compared. ET7 is not the only sedan of Nio, the company is working on another one. It is said to be working on another sedan too.
There is room for all the cars as China lags behind other developing nations in terms of car ownership. As of now, out of 1000, only 173 people own a car while the numbers are 433 and 373 in Malaysia and Russia respectively. While in the US and Australia, the numbers are dramatically higher, 837 and 747 respectively. The stats are according to McKinsey and Co.
In November, the auto sales rose for the fifth month in a row in China. It is due to the demand for electric vehicles (EVs). Wedbush analyst Dan Ives has said that Asia’s biggest economy has the potential of becoming the biggest EV market.
For now, Nio is selling its cars in China only. However, the company has plans to enter the European market in the second half of 2021.