Chinese electric vehicle company Nio has revealed its first sedan, the ET7, which is expected to go on sale in the country in 2022 with a range of more than 600 miles and offering autonomous driving features.
The company, founded by Chinese tech entrepreneur Williams Li, currently offers a line of electric SUVs and crossovers aimed at the growing Chinese high-end market. It also aspires to eventually expand globally, including to the UK. While Nio, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange, struggled to fund itself, it secured a major investment last year and saw increased sales in China. The company sold 36,721 vehicles last year, a 111 percent year-over-year increase.
As with its existing models, the new Tesla Model S rival, revealed at the company’s annual Nio Day event, is built on a lightweight steel and aluminum chassis and is powered by two electric motors.
A front-mounted permanent magnet motor produces 241 hp, with an induction motor on the rear axle delivering 402 hp. Both units have a maximum combined power of 644 hp and also offer 627 lb-ft of torque. This gives the ET7 a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds.
Nio says that plus a more efficient electric drive system, a lightweight chassis and a 0.23 Cd drag coefficient have helped improve the range offered by silicon carbide batteries.
The ET7 will be offered with three battery sizes. The entry-level 70 kWh unit offers a range of 310 miles, with a 100 kWh version offering 435 miles. The top 150 kWh battery has a claimed range of over 621 miles. All figures are calculated using the Chinese NEDC system. The machine features Nio’s battery replacement technology, allowing drivers to change batteries at special stations to avoid charging times.
Nio says the ET7 also has a range of advanced driver assistance features that will allow it to offer autonomous driving. The system uses 33 high-performance sensing units, which it says are integrated into the car body for optimal design, with its autonomous systems powered by an advanced computer system capable of generating 8 GB of data per second.
The ET7 is 5,098mm long, 1,987mm wide and 1,505mm high, with a wheelbase of 3,060mm. As with existing Nio models, the interior dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen – 12.8 inches in this case – which can be used by Nio’s Nomi on-board AI system. It also has a 23-speaker audio system as standard.
The ET7 is expected to launch in China in early 2022, with a starting price of around £ 51,000, although this can be reduced by opting to pay for batteries through a subscription service. While 19 of the ET7’s driver assistance features will be standard, access to the full AD as a Service feature will require a monthly subscription of around £ 80.
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