Tesla challenger NIO Inc. Unveils its New ET5 Mid-Size Sedan, Offering Up to 621 Miles of Range
【Summary】Electric car maker NIO Inc held its annual “NIO Day” on Dec 18 in Suzhou, where the company unveiled its latest electric vehicle, the ET5 sedan. The ET5 is NIO’s fifth consumer EV, following the ES8 SUV, ES6 compact SUV, EC6 fastback and full-size ET7 sedan. The mid-size ET5 is poised to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and other similar EVs in China.
Chinese electric car maker NIO Inc held its annual "NIO Day" on Dec 18 in Suzhou, where the company unveiled its latest electric vehicle, the ET5 sedan. The ET5 is NIO's fifth consumer EV, following the ES8 SUV, ES6 compact SUV, EC6 fastback and full-size ET7 sedan.
The mid-size ET5 is poised to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and other similar EVs in China. The battery-powered sedan is priced at RMB 328,000 (US$51,445) before subsidies, and RMB 258,000 (US$40,466) with BaaS (Battery-as-a-Service).
In Aug 2020, NIO launched its unique BaaS monthly subscription plan. It allows customers to pay a monthly fee for the battery that's separate from the vehicle's purchase price. The BaaS plan is designed to lower the upfront purchase price of an electric vehicle, so its more affordable.
Deliveries of the new ET5 are expected to start in Sept 2022.
"The year of 2021 is full of challenges," said William Li, NIO's founder, chairman and CEO said at NIO Day. "With a positive and optimistic attitude and outlook, NIO has grown together with its users. In 2022, we will continue to double down on product and technology development, accelerate the deployment of our service network, and enter more markets globally. We are confident about the road ahead."
The ET5 was engineered to meet the five-star C-NCAP and Euro NCAP standards, using a high-strength steel-aluminum hybrid body. The ET5's exterior profile is sleek, with features such as frameless windows and concealed door handles. The EV has a drag coefficient as low as 0.24.
The electric sedan is also equipped with NIO's next-generation high-efficiency electric powertrain using a silicon carbide (SiC) power module for instantaneous torque. The SiC inverter is the rapid flow of power to the motor when the driver demands it, such as during hard acceleration. The ET5 can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
A Range of up to 621 Miles
The ET5 equipped with the Standard Range Battery 75 kWh battery has a China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC) range of over 550 km (342 miles). The 100 kWh Long Range Battery offers a range of over 700 km (435 miles) and over 1,000 km (621 miles) when equipped with NIO's 150 kWh Ultra Long-Range Battery.
NIO's newest 100kWh battery pack features cell-to-pack (CTP) technology and was jointly developed with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL).
The range of over 600 miles would make the ET5 the world's longest range EV, beating out the current global leader the Lucid Air sedan from Lucid Motors, which can deliver up to 520 miles of range.
The NIO ET5 will alos come with advanced autonomous driving capabilities, which can be updated with over the air software updates to get better over time. New autonomous driving features will be made available to users via a RMB 680 ($106) monthly subscription fee.
The ET5 Has an Augmented Reality Display
The ET5 offers NIO's "PanoCinema", a panoramic and immersive digital cockpit which features AR and VR technologies to create an "exclusive space where users can indulge all their senses", says NIO.
NIO partnered with NREAL, an innovative AR device company, to jointly develop AR glasses exclusive to NIO, which can project an effective screen size of 201 inches at 6 meters.
The NIO VR Glasses feature ultra-thin Pancake lenses which offer a 4K display effect of the HDR instrument cluster.
The ET5 also features an audio system featuring Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 surround sound system technology. Dolby Atmos is also offered in the Lucid Air sedan from Lucid Motors.
In addition to launching new vehicles, NIO is continually expanding its charging and battery swapping network. By the end of 2022, the company said its will have in total over 1,300 Power Swap stations, 6,000 Power Chargers and 10,000 destination chargers across China 30 destination charging routes, including along China's famed Silk Road.
In July, NIO said its plans to deploy 4,000 battery swapping stations globally by 2025. The battery swapping stations are part of a larger EV charging ecosystem and include a mix of conventional EV charging and Power Mobiles, which are NIO's mobile charging vans.
NIO's battery swapping stations are unique in the auto industry. Unlike other electric vehicles, the battery packs in NIO's vehicles are designed for easy removal at one of the company's battery swap stations, which are called "NIO Power." The battery swap process is completely automated aan takes about 10 minutes. It offers NIO customers a faster alternative that plugging in and waiting for the battery to charge.
NIO also announced at NIO Day that the first deliveries of the company's flagship ET7 sedan will start on March 28, 2022. The ET7 was unveiled in Jan 2020.
In June, NIO announced it received approval to sell its fully-electric ES8 SUV in Europe, paving the way for the company's expansion for the first time outside of China. NIO's expansion to Europe will help the company better compete with Tesla and other automakers in Europe's growing EV market. Following Norway, NIO plans to expand to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark next year.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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