NIO is quickly becoming a serious competitor to Tesla. Is it destined to take the throne?
If you haven’t already heard, Nio has been making the rounds lately. Thanks to the soaring stock prices, Nio has become the talk of the town for being a great way for investors to make a quick buck.
Other than soaring stocks, Nio is also making moves as a competitor to Tesla, focusing on high-end performance EVs at prices that are a fraction of Tesla’s models.
Only founded in 2014, Nio is as fresh as they come yet it has achieved more in these six years than some car companies do in ten. As one of its first acts, Nio hit the ground running with their EP9 supercar that made headlines for having a whopping 1,341bhp, breaking the Nurburgring record for its class and being the world’s fastest electric road car.
Their first production car is the ES8. It’s a large luxury SUV exclusively sold in China, sold for the equivalent of around £51,000. The second model, the ES6, is a slightly smaller SUV with five seats rather than seven and is priced at around £41,000 once converted to GBP. And lastly, the third model available to order now and set to release soon called the EC6, is yet another SUV, this time the smallest of the three being a crossover with five seats and a more coupe-like roofline.
Now, although these cars are only for the Chinese market at the moment, that hasn’t stopped us westerners postulate the possibility of Nio one day dethroning Tesla as the leader of the luxury performance EV market.
For example, Nio’s EC6 has some pretty impressive performance specs, with even the lowest model having around 429 hp and being able to sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.6 seconds. Not bad for a pretty large crossover.
Nio cars have the luxury and performance that you would expect in a Tesla and although the battery range isn’t quite as far in their cars as they are in Tesla, Nio has one unique selling point that could be considered a trick up their sleeve.
This trick is the interchangeable batteries, allowing each Nio car to have its battery changed just like when your TV remote runs out of battery. Say, if you were on a long drive and didn’t have time to stop several times, waiting 30 mins to an hour for your car to recharge, you can instead use Nio’s battery swap service. This costs around £21 (180 Yuan) and the swap is completed in around 3-5 minutes.
This service is available in little futuristic manned cuboid stations that can be found at fuel stations dotted around China and process consists of an attendant parking your car in the ‘box’ and then a few minutes later, it comes out with a fully-charged battery.
Now, although the cars are only sold in China and it may seem like Nio is in an enclosed environment, the ES8 was designed in Germany and the company is made up of a ‘multinational team and company structure’ according to Auto Express.
In fact, multiple sources claim that Nio is looking to expand to the west as early as next year and the battery-swapping service could be coming with it. William Li, the founder, even said in an interview “Hopefully, in the second half of next year, we can start some small batch exploration in countries where EVs are popular”.
With China making up half of the global sales for electric vehicles and Nio receiving a great deal of funding from Chinese conglomerate Tencent, they could soon become a force to be reckoned with thanks to slightly lower prices and of course their unique selling point, the battery swap service.
Let us know what you think could come of Nio, in the comments!
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