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Chinese EV Startup NIO to Unveil its First Electric Sedan on Jan 9, New Competition for the Tesla Model 3

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【Summary】Chinese electric vehicle startup and Tesla challenger NIO will reveal its first sedan next month. Nio’s new ET7 sedan will make its debut at the upcoming NIO Day event on Jan. 9, 2021, according to Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of Nio. The upcoming sedan is based on a concept vehicle that Nio unveiled at Auto China 2019.

Eric Walz    Dec 24, 2020 11:30 AM PT
Chinese EV Startup NIO to Unveil its First Electric Sedan on Jan 9, New Competition for the Tesla Model 3

Chinese electric vehicle startup and Tesla challenger NIO will reveal its first sedan next month, automotive news outlet Gasgoo reports. Nio's new sedan will make its debut at the forthcoming NIO Day to be held on Jan. 9, 2021, according to Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of Nio.

The upcoming sedan is reportedly based on the ET7, a concept vehicle that Nio unveiled at Auto China 2019. 

The competitively-priced sedan is poised to become a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3 and Model S in China, as well as the P7 Smart Sedan from Nio's closest rival Xpeng Motors.

The ET7 sedan will be offered with all-wheel-drive, with electric motors for the front and rear axles. The powertrain will offer a combined output of 400kW, according to a local media in China. 

Range is expected to be over 450km (280 miles) and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in under five seconds. 

In early November, NIO launched its 100kWh battery pack that is able to provide a NEDC range of up to 615km (382 miles) for NIO models.

The 100kWh battery pack features CTP (cell-to-pack) technology jointly developed with Chinese battery maker CATL that helps and improves space utilization by 19.8%, resulting in 37% higher energy density, according to NIO. The new battery includes improved thermal management. 

et7.jpg

The Nio ET7 slighly resembles the Tesla Model 3 from this angle.

In addition to the ET7 unveiling at Nio Day, the company plans to announce a more powerful 150kWh battery, its NT2.0 autonomous driving platform and its second-generation battery swapping station at NIO Day. 

Nio said its next-generation battery swapping station will store more batteries and cost less to build than the existing ones. The electric automaker said it will speed up the deployment of battery swapping stations next year with nearly one new station added per day.

The battery swapping stations are unique for the auto industry. Rather than waiting to fully-charge an EV battery, the batteries in Nio's electric vehicles are designed to be easily removed. The process takes just minutes to swap it with a fully charged one. It's much quicker than conventional EV charging.

Nio's first vehicle was the ES8 SUV which was unveiled in Dec 2017. The company followed that up with the smaller ES6 SUV in June 2018. The ET7 sedan however will be a sportier model and come loaded with high-tech features. 

Nio is emerging as one of China's most promising EV startups. The company reported record sales last month. NIO reported it delivered 5,291 vehicles in November, its highest monthly sales number ever. The record number of deliveries represents a 109.3% year-over-year growth. 

Nio delivered 1,387 of its flagship ES8s SUVs, 2,386 units of the smaller ES6 SUV, the and 1,518 EC6s, which is Nio's 5-passenger premium electric coupe/SUV.

In total, Nio delivered 36,721 vehicles through Nov 30 of this year, representing an increase of 111.1% year-over-year.

Nio plans to launch a second electric sedan after the ET7. 

Nio is a public company in the U.S. launching its IPO in Sept 2018. The company's stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol "NIO".

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