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20 April 2017, 11:18 | Justin Tyler
Here's The Three-Row SUV That Electric Startup NIO Wants To Sell In China Next Year
Nio unveiled its electric SUV, the Nio ES8, at the Shanghai motor show on Wednesday.
The ES8 will enter production later this year and be available for purchase in China's newly competitive electric market in 2018.
Chinese internet company Tencent acquired a 5% stake in Tesla in March, highlighting a vote of confidence in Tesla's position in the world's most populous country.
NIO made the announcements during the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, and is showcasing 11 cars including two NIO Formula E race cars, seven NIO EP9s, and its vision vehicle EVE and one NIO ES8.
A Chinese startup electric vehicle maker has just debuted a production SUV, and it looks surprisingly legitimate. The SUV, branded the ES8, is a long ways away from the manufacturer's flagship autonomous supercar, the EP9. The vehicle's swappable battery will provide a charging experience that surpasses refuelling at gas stations.
NIO, the best-funded Chinese EV start-up with a RMB20 billion (US$2.8 billion) valuation, said that the official launch of the vehicle ES8 will take place at the end of this year, with deliveries expected to begin next year. I am proud of our relentless focus on vision and action. The vehicle has been tested in Yakeshi in Inner Mongolia, where temperatures can reach -22 degrees Fahrenheit as well as Melbourne and Madura, Australia where temperatures can reach over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The original six EP9s were given to investors in the auto maker. The company also says that the ES8 has their new corporate design language that will appear on later models, including those that might be coming to the United States.
The EP9 has already been built as a batch of six units, which were all sold 'to investors.' Now, a second batch of 10 is on the cards, with each one made to order. A good thing, considering the EP9 costs a whopping $1.48 million each.
It has racecar-like aero that means it can generate more than 2.5 lateral G. All the better for nabbing lap records around the Nürburgring and the Circuit of the Americas.
NIO is a global start-up, designing and developing smart, high-performance, premium electric vehicles. Investors include Tencent, Temasek, Baidu Capital, Sequoia Capital, Lenovo, TPG and other world-renowned investment institutions.
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