NIO Debuts its New Electric ES6 SUV at ‘NIO Day 2018' in China

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【Summary】On Saturday Dec. 15, NIO showed off the ES6, the company’s latest, long-range electric SUV at a special event called “NIO Day 2018”. The company says the new ES6 is the world's first EV combining permanent magnet and induction motors.

Eric Walz    Jan 23, 2019 1:08 PM PT
NIO Debuts its New Electric ES6 SUV at ‘NIO Day 2018' in China

Chinese electric carmaker NIO is often referred to as the "Tesla of China". The company is building stylish fully-electric vehicles filled with high-tech features. On Saturday, NIO showed off its latest, long-range electric SUV the ES6 at a special event called "NIO Day 2018". The event was held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center and included a performance by singer Bruno Mars.

According to NIO, NIO Day is billed as a annual celebration for NIO and its friends. The event was held under the theme of "Together & Better," highlighting the event as a "fun gathering for NIO users to grow together". About 10,000 NIO users and friends attended the event, and many others participated at 53 locations globally.

"We are committed to redefining the user experience and creating a community centered around our users, enjoying life and growing together. The ES6 launch and the NIO Day have set another NIO community milestone," said NIO Founder, Chairman and CEO, William Li at the event.

Founded in 2014, NIO is a pioneer in China's premium electric vehicle market. The company began deliveries of its first electric passenger vehicle in June 2018. NIO's first car was the EP9 electric supercar, which earned the title of the world's fastest electric car.

The ES6

The ES6 is a high-performance long-range intelligent electric SUV that seats five. It is the second passenger model from startup NIO and follows the seven-seat ES8 SUV released one year ago. Both models are expected to compete with Tesla's models in China.

The ES6 is built with using high-strength aluminum & carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) hybrid structure. The ES6 features 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration in 4.7 seconds with a NEDC range of over 510 km (317 miles). The ES6 expands on the design language of the NIO product line with a stylish exterior plus a refined, high-tech interior.

Like Tesla's Model 3 sedan, the ES6 comes in several versions, including a standard, high-performance and Premier Edition. Currently, NIO offers the Standard and Performance Versions with pre-subsidiary starting prices of 358,000 ($51,905) and 398,000 yuan ($57,704) respectively. The performance version includes Brembo four piston aluminum brake calipers and high performance tires. Each ES6 is customized and made to order.


The fully-electric ES6 

The world's first EV combining permanent magnet and induction motors

NIO said the ES6 and ES8 are the world's first electric vehicles that uses both a permanent magnet motor combined with a induction motor (IM). The IM is responsible for medium and low speeds and maximizes range. This IM design is also used by Tesla. The 160 kW permanent magnet (PM) motor is designed for high-performance and greater acceleration at highway speeds. The PM motor can spin up to 15,000 rpm's, delivering strong power when needed.

The company's NIO Houses, NIO Service and NIO Power, are also set to be upgraded in 2019.

At a NIO Power station, a customer can have the battery swapped in their NIO vehicle in just three minutes in an automated process instead of waiting for a charge. The process includes automatic battery and electric system checks during every battery swap ensure the EV and batteries are always in the best condition. By 2019, NIO will set up a number of new power stations along expressways in China to meet user demand.

26 NIO Houses and experience stores have been opened in China as of 2018. In 2019, NIO plans to open a total of 70 locations by the end of the year. NIO Houses are community space where NIO owners can hang out and socialize. The locations feature libraries, open kitchens with areas serving NIO's signature coffee, a vehicle showroom, living room and meeting spaces.

nio hous.jpg

A NIO House in Beijing

To support and service its vehicles, NIO has already begun to deploy a network of service centers across China. By the end of 2018, NIO said its building a nationwide service network with over 160 service outlets across China. The number of service centers is expected to increase to over 300 in 2019.

NIO also announced the pre-subsidy price of the six-seater NIO ES8 variant starting at 456,000 RMB ($66,114), with online pre-ordering expected to begin on December 24th and delivery to start in late March 2019.

So far this year, NIO has delivered 9,726 ES8 SUVs. For comparison, electric automaker Tesla sold around 18,800 Model X SUVs in the U.S. in the first ten months of this year.

In September, NIO became the first Chinese electric automaker to trade on the New York Stock Exchange when its launched its IPO. NIO sold $1 billion in shares in its debut on the U.S. stock market, making it the third-biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese firm this year, according to Reuters.

NIO, which is backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent, plans to use its IPO proceeds for research and development of products and technology, marketing and developing manufacturing facilities.

NIO is headquartered in Shanghai, China with additional global offices in Munich and London. NIO's U.S. headquarters are in Silicon Valley. The company plans to expand outside of China within the next few years.

Customers can pre-order the ES6 right from a smartphone using the NIO app. NIO will begin deliveries of the ES6 in June 2019 to customers in China.

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