“Any idiot” can now simply install a huge battery in an electric car in order to achieve new range records, said in September 2020 Peter Rawlinson, former chief engineer at Tesla and now CEO of Lucid Motors. With his Air he focuses on maximum efficiency and wants to achieve a range of over 800 km. The Chinese startup Nio, however, tries instead with bulk: at the weekend it presented its sedan ET7, which is expected to come with a capacity of up to 150 kilowatt hours and a range of 1,000 kilometers according to the China standard, i.e. much further than even the announced Tesla Model S plaid.
Almost as fast as performance Tesla
In other respects, too, Nio is directly on the ground of the pioneer and wants to implement concepts that Tesla has also announced or not pursued at all. With the help of 33 sensors and high-performance hardware from Nvidia, the ET7 is to have a function for autonomous driving – and exclusively by subscription, as is also planned at Tesla according to CEO Elon Musk. In addition, Nio announced not only the huge battery option, but also a rental model for it, including a new generation of its battery exchange stations. And the electric sedan will probably be the first in the world to run on solid-state batteries.
The biggest flaw in it is probably that the Nio ET7 will only come in early 2022. Critical observers therefore suspected that with the spectacular announcements the company wanted to prepare its next capital raising on the stock exchange. The start-up’s share had performed even better than Tesla’s last year and reacted with another price jump after the weekend was presented.
Apart from such considerations, the acceleration values of the new Chinese sedan also sound convincing. It should accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 3.9 seconds – not quite as fast as a performance Tesla, but still brutal. Autonomous driving is known by the Chinese as Nio Autonomous Driving (NAD). It is mentioned several times in the press release on ET7, but does not explain how far the autonomy should go. The scope will be expanded step by step – this is also reminiscent of Tesla. Nio states the rental price for NAD at the equivalent of 86 euros.
Price for largest super battery still open
In addition to technical details about the battery and driving software, the other prices for the electric car are still largely open. Nio calls “from” the equivalent of 56,500 euros with a purchase battery and 66,500 euros for the ET7 Premier Edition, but does not specify the size of the battery. In addition to the full 150 kWh, the sleek sedan should also be available with 100 kWh or 70 kWh. The starting prices are likely to apply to the smallest variant, for which Nio again did not provide any range information. The electric car can already be ordered for delivery in China in the first quarter of 2022; there was initially no mention of a possible export to Europe.