Nio used its annual Nio Day event held on Dec. 24 in Hefei, China, to present two new vehicles, one of which marks the start of a new model line for the Chinese EV brand.
The vehicles included a redesigned ES8 mid-size SUV and a new EC7 mid-size SUV with a coupe-like roof profile.
It was only in 2017 that Nio, often billed as China’s Tesla, rolled out its first vehicle in the form of the original ES8. (There was also an EP9 hypercar, though this was a track car whose production totaled only a handful of units.)
The EC7 and redesigned ES8 are based on Nio’s latest EV platform, dubbed NT2.0. In range-topping guise, the platform incorporates an air suspension and a dual-motor powertrain generating 644 hp. This is enough for 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.8 seconds in the EC7 and 4.1 seconds in the ES8. The battery options include 75- and 100-kwh units.
The new platform also incorporates hardware required for self-driving capability, including lidar and four Orin X computer chips. Nio said features allowing the vehicles to handle themselves in certain situations will be rolled out as updates as the technology is developed and validated. Nio plans to offer the features via a monthly subscription.
The EC7 has seating for five split over two rows while the ES8 has seating for six split over three rows. In the ES8, the passenger seats have cushions that automatically lift to create what the company refers to “zero gravity posture.” This is meant to relieve tiredness on long drives. The EC7 has a glass roof that spans almost 21 square feet and features sound and heat insulation.
The EC7 starts at 418,000 renminbi (approximately $60,000), though owners will have to sign up for a subscription for the battery. The starting price with the 75-kwh battery included is 488,000 renminbi ($70,000).
Similarly, the ES8 starts at 458,000 renminbi ($65,800) with a battery subscription and 528,000 renminbi ($75,850) with the 75-kwh battery included.
Nio now has one of the most diverse EV lineups in the business. The company in October marked the start of exports to a handful of European countries, and on Dec. 12 celebrated the assembly of its 300,000th vehicle. Nio also said it plans to be present in more than 25 countries by 2025, though it hasn’t said whether the U.S. will be one of them.
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