Not so long ago we told you about a Chinese “clone” Model X from the company Xiaopeng Motors. The new product was clearly demonstrated in the American electric crossover authored by Elon musk. But the diversity of the Chinese market for electric cars is not over. Recently, the Chinese startup NIO began sales of its first electric crossover ES8. The car should make a direct competition to the Model X from Tesla, and he has all chances for that – it costs almost half the price. In China, the price of Tesla Model X starts at about 836 000 yuan ($126 328), the cost of the basic configuration ES8 is 448 000 yuan ($697 67).
From NIO in the Chinese market will be a distinct advantage, because the company, unlike Tesla, can enjoy the subsidies provided by the state. But even without this Chinese electric crossover is a pretty interesting sample. It’s big, spacious and designed for 7 seats. The car can accelerate to “hundred” for 4.4 seconds.
The car is equipped with technology Nio Pilot, which the company describes as “a comprehensive advanced driver assistance system”. It is built on a processor-based Mobileye EyeQ4 and uses the 23 sensors installed along the perimeter of the car, as well as multiple cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors. On paper it all sounds very wonderful, but how it works in practice and what role it plays in Autonomous control – is unclear. In addition, the ES8 is equipped with a system of artificial intelligence NOMI, “designed to listen, communicate and help the driver while driving”, as specified by the manufacturer.
Perhaps the only moment in which NIO ES8 significantly inferior to the Tesla Model X is the reserve. Chinese electric crossover is equipped with a battery 70 kWh, which provides 355 kilometers on a single charge, while Tesla offers 565 kilometers.
There are pluses. The NIO said that the battery of her car charged much faster – to achieve a charge which is enough for 100 kilometers, it takes just 10 minutes of time. The ability to restore the power reserve faster, too. The company intends to place a network of charging stations Power Swaps that will offer owners ES8 fast replacement of batteries at fully charged in just 3 minutes. In addition, the planned introduction of the service emergency. If the battery will end up at the wrong time “in the boonies”, then NIO will be able to send to the unlucky owners of a mobile station Power Mobile, which will charge the car battery. In total by 2020, China plans to build 1,100 stations Power Swap and a Navy of 1200 mobile Power Mobile stations.
For the company NIO model ES8 is not only released her new car. In March of this year the company introduced the self-concept-EVE, and released a very powerful and very fast electric hypercar EP9. Last, worth $ 1.5 million, able to accelerate to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 314 km/h.
NIO ES8 for the company was the first attempt to enter the mass car market. And admittedly, very ambitious. Negative factor, perhaps, is the fact that the car is designed only for the Chinese market. At least not yet.
The founder of NIO William Lee modestly said that he himself cannot predict, as the output of the crossover to the Chinese market will affect the sales of Tesla in the region.
“Perhaps, after the release of our product Tesla will sell less. But it is also possible, in which they will still maintain their level of sales, because it is growing the entire market. It’s hard to tell,” said Lee.
The businessman added that among the buyers of the Tesla are found many who decided in the end to contact the NIO. But there are many who buys the products of both companies.