NIO is a Shanghai-based Chinese multinational car manufacturer that specializes in the design and development of electric vehicles. The company was founded in November 2014, thanks to a group of Chinese investors that backed it up. In September of 2018, they filed an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. What differentiates NIO from other car manufacturers in China (like Xpeng or BYD) is the fact that they’ve developed a battery swapping technology. NIO owners can charge their vehicle via a plug, or they can go to a battery swapping station, and replace the battery in 5 minutes. Top Gear has done a test with NIO in 2019, taking a road trip and using battery swapping stations as a way to fuel up.
Along with that, you don’t actually have to buy the vehicle together with the battery. You have an option to buy a vehicle for a price that does not include the battery. If you choose to do this, you’ll have to rent the battery on a monthly basis, whose price goes from $150 to $230, depending on the battery size (70kWh or 100kWh). Nio’s name for this is Battery as a Service (BaaS).
The company also has the “NIO Life” brand that they are scaling on the side, focusing on sustainable clothing, food and much more. NIO even has its own app, where users can share the newest pictures of their vehicle. If the users decide to meet up, or just want to go to a place where they want to hang out, they are welcome to do so in NIO House. Nio House is primarily a showroom, but the design of it is built in such a way to feel cozy and homey.
NIO ET7 has first been presented at the ‘NIO Day’ event in Chengdu, on January the 9th 2021. The car will serve as a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S. It is expected of this car to be on the markets starting the first quarter of 2022.
A quick overview:
- two electric motors, one in the front and rear of the car, combined output of 644 horsepower and 850 Nm
- front motor (permanent magnet): 180 kW
- rear motor (induction motor): 300 kW
- 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds
- 0.208 drag coefficient!! (just like the Tesla Model S Plaid)
- 70kWh, 100kWh and 150kWh battery options
With its wheelbase length of 3.06 meters (120.5 inches), Nio ET7 offers a spacious space for 5 people. The total length of the car is 5.1 meters (200.7 inches), so we can assume the trunk of the car will offer 500 liters of space, if not more. The car will come with three battery pack options: 70kWh, 100kWh and 150kWh. The first one has an estimated NEDC range of 500km (310 miles), the second one is at 700km (434 miles), and the largest one can cover up to 1000km (620 miles). How representative are these numbers in the real world, we will have to wait and see. The drag coefficient is also a notable improvement from what they initially claimed, 0.23. For electric vehicles, for every 0.01 reduction in drag coefficient, the range will improve by about 5-8km.
Technology and Interior
Looking at the interior, the initial impression the car gives is its spaciousness. Light colors of the interior, consisting out of renewable materials such as rattan, give a feeling of calmness and safety. The interior is minimalistic, somewhat resemblant to the Tesla Model S. It consists of two screens: a 12.2-inch driver gauge cluster screen and a 12.8-inch main screen, used for infotainment, climate control options and so on. The steering wheel is simple and reminds us of vehicles manufactured by Volvo. A lot of electric vehicles nowadays have an intelligent AI system integrated, but none of them are in a “physical form”. The virtual assistant available for this car is called Nio Nomi, and it is located above the main infotainment screen.
On the sides, there are big frameless mirrors, and the roof is panoramic. All of this helps the light get in, making it feel spacious and luxurious.
Nio ET7 is packed with technology. It has visible sensors all around the car(especially on the sides and the roofline). These sensors consist of a LiDar system with the name “Aquila”, which features 33 high-performance sensing units including an ultralong-range high-resolution, 11 8MP high-resolution cameras. Not to forget the 12 ultrasonic sensors. The vehicle generates 8GB of data, while in driving mode. As all of this requires strong computing power, the vehicle is equipped with 4 x NVIDIA DRIVE Orin at the speed of 1,016 TOPS – specifications are on this link. Nio also fitted the ET7 with its latest self-driving system known as Nio Autonomous Driving, or NAD for short.
NIO ET7 Price
The starting price for the NIO ET7 entry model is going to be around $69,900. This will include 19 assistance features, while for full AD access, users will have to opt for a monthly subscription of around $80. If you decide to go for a monthly battery subscription, the total cost of the car will be reduced to $58,600.
NIO ET7 offers a lot, and the company itself is all about the customer experience. If you were to become an NIO owner, you can only imagine all of the perks that go with becoming a part of the “NIO family”. You’d be able to choose between swapping the battery or charging it. Then, you’d have an app that you can use as social media and connect with new people. Lastly, if that place where you used to get coffee started getting boring, just swing by the Nio House. You’ll be greeted with hospitality and a sense of belonging. It is apparent that NIO is more than a brand. With all being said, you get a stylish car, with some of the safest systems on the market right now. In our opinion, this is a good buy.