Chinese manufacturer NIO brought its latest offering to Shanghai, the ET Preview sedan, showcasing its technical prowess and research and development strength with its 220kW permanent magnet synchronous motor electric drivetrain and carbon fibre battery pack.
While the company was only founded in 2014, it’s already making waves as a global electric vehicle company. In 2016 it unveiled the EP9, one of the fastest electric cars in the world (it holds the lap record for an electric vehicle around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and three other world-renowned tracks, as well as world speed record for an autonomous vehicle at the Circuit of the Americas), and NIO currently has two high-performance SUVs: the flagship ES8 which was launched in 2017 and the long-range ES6 just over a year later.
Both of these cars were on display, alongside the NIO EVE Vision car and NIO Formula E Team car, the NIO 004. The NIO EVE is an autonomous concept car but can be manually driven if chosen. The car uses a system called NOMI, an artificially-intelligent digital companion which learns about its driver and passenger to meet their needs. NIO 004 is NIO’s Gen 2 Formula E car driven by Tom Dillman and Oliver Turvey. The 140mph race car packs over 335bhp in qualifying trim.
The ET Preview is NIO’s first foray into sedan territory, and with sleek contours, elegant proportions and minimalistic design it looks good. Sadly NIO hasn’t provided any further details of the ET Preview.
In terms of electric motor, ECU and power battery technology, NIO also displayed its electric mobility platform which combines high-energy density NCM811 nickel-cobalt-manganese battery pack technology with high-efficiency permanent magnet motors in the front and high-performance induction motors in the rear, to achieve a NEDC cruising range of up to 317 miles.
NIO also revealed its new Power Charger offering a charging facility for public spaces that can be used by any brand of EV, not just NIO cars. It joins the growing number of battery swap stations where the battery can be changed in around three minutes and the mobile power banks; a fleet of vans that give a 10 minute charge providing 62 miles of range wherever you are. All are controlled via the mobile internet and NIO owners can enjoy free nationwide charging services within 124 miles of their home, ensuring the vehicle has enough power during long-distance trips.
NIO is building up quite the portfolio in a relatively short amount of time and, according to William Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO of NIO: “After just over four years of development, NIO has grown into a tech company that is constantly perfecting itself and increasing systemic efficiency, while striving to provide high-quality service to users.”
The ET Preview is expected to be on sale in 2021. NIO is focused on China where EV sales are strong and the brand is growing, having now sold over 15,000 ES8 models, with the smaller ES6 SUV soon to be on sale. Prices are yet to be announced.