As promised, NIO has now officially launched its new all-electric SUV, the ES8, in China. The 7-seat plug-in electric SUV — which features a base price of RMB 448,000 (~$67,700) before incentives; a 70 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack; and a semi-autonomous driving system — was recently presented to the public at an event in Beijing.
In addition to the standard model, there will be 10,000 “Founders Editions” available as well — for RMB 548,000 (~$82,800) a piece.
With regard to the 70 kWh battery pack, the range rating with regard to the NEDC testing cycle would reportedly be around 355 kilometers (221 miles) per full charge, with the real-world range being a fair bit lower. The NIO ES8 SUV’s drag coefficient “is as low as” 0.29 (whatever that means exactly).
Performance specs for the NIO ES8 are: 480 kW of power; 840 N·m (620 lb-ft) of torque; a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds; and all-wheel drive. The model features two motors, and an active air suspension, as well.
A press release provides more: “A battery rental plan is available to NIO users, which provides a RMB 100,000 (US$15,000) discount on the purchase price of the ES8. The battery rental subscription is RMB 1,280 (US$193) per month and enables ES8 owners to enjoy battery upgrading services, along with quality assurance, roadside assistance, car connectivity, and nationwide charging services. The NIO ES8 is customized and will be made to order. Those interested in purchasing an ES8 can place an order through the NIO App.
“The ES8 is the first car to have an all-aluminum body and chassis featuring aerospace grade 7003 series aluminum alloy, enabling a high torsional stiffness of 44,140 Nm/deg. NIO says that the ES8 features the highest amount of aluminum for any mass production car.
“… NIO also launched NIO Pilot, its advanced driver assistance system. NIO PILOT is enabled by 23 sensors, including a trifocal front-facing camera, 4 surround exterior cameras, 5 millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a driver monitor camera. The ES8 is also the first vehicle to come equipped with the Mobileye EyeQ4, which has a computation capacity 9-times more powerful than its predecessors. NIO PILOT’s software and hardware suite enables subscribers to enjoy upgraded services through FOTA updates.”
Other things worth noting here:
— The ES8’s battery pack can be swapped out with a fully charged one in just 3 minutes.
— NIO is planning for the deployment of over 1,100 battery pack swap stations (Power Swap Stations) by 2020.
— The ES8 features an interactive “AI” system similar to those now employed by various other tech companies.
As it stands, NIO has already opened stores (“NIO Houses”) in Beijing, and there are now plans on the table to open more in 9 other cities in China in 2018. These cities include: Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Hefei, Chengdu, and Suzhou
For more details and context regarding the NIO ES8, read “NIO ES8 — Could This Be A Serious Competitor To The Tesla Model X?“