Chinese-based Electric Automaker NIO has just held NIO Day 2021 in Suzhou. NIO took the opportunity to unveil its latest car, the ET5, a mid-size smart electric sedan, ready to compete with the Tesla Model 3.
The big news here is the battery options and range.
NIO will offer the ET5 with 3 different sized batteries, allowing owners to choose their price vs range comfort level.
- 75kWh battery – 550km (CLTC)
- 100kWh battery – 700km (CLTC)
- 150kWh battery – 1,000km (CLTC)
Having the ability to get to those range numbers will cross a really important threshold for some customers who have disregarded EVs that can’t meet their long-range circumstances. It may be that you travel often and don’t have a lot of charging infrastructure in your area, or that you want the freedom to drive as long as you want without the car requiring charging.
With up to 1,000km of range, there is no human that will drive without needing to stop for human reasons, be it bathroom breaks or a sleep, so for those who’ve argued about the range of EVs, NIO is putting that to bed.
NIO uses a new-generation high-efficiency electric powertrain empowered by the SiC power module.
It’s difficult to talk about range, without also talking about performance. The ET5 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, which is certainly fast enough to impress your friends and family when you plant the right foot, even if down from the 3.3s of the Model 3 Performance. Compared to the more appropriate comp, the Long Range Model 3 at 4.4s Nio is right on the money here.
When it comes to stopping that speed, NIO’s developed their own high-performance brakes and bolted on 4-piston fixed calipers, helping the car brake from 100 km/h to 0km/h in just 33.9 meters.
The ET5 features a fluid design, similar to their larger ET7, but with a mid-size body, making it immediately appeal to a larger segment of the market. Offers a modern look to the exterior and ticks all the right boxes for aerodynamics, including the flush door handles. This helps the car deliver a drag coefficient as low as 0.24, which compares to 0.23 of a Model 3, impressive given the front bar differences between the two.
Inside the vehicle, NIO wants you to think of the car as a second living room, sophisticated and warm. Made from clean and sustainable materials it ticks some more important boxes for the environmentally conscious.
What NIO does well is to deliver the minimal interior that so many of us fell in love with the Model 3 and as we look at the legacy auto struggle to let go of the past, it’s refreshing to see another option coming for those who love the elimination of the noise, the excess buttons and move to a futuristic design. NIO went one step further and included a pretty stunning ambient light feature that runs through the cabin, creating a very sophisticated feel as you drive and ride in the car.
The smart invisible air vents keep the instrument panel visually neat and delicate. Entering and exiting will always be at ease with the soft-close doors with frameless windows and flush door handles, and the UWB digital key and smart key.
Naturally, we’re going to compare technology and autonomy stacks as well. The NIO ET5 comes with the latest NIO Autonomous Driving (NAD).
With NIO Aquila Super Sensing and NIO Adam Super Computing, the car will gradually achieve a safe and reassuring autonomous driving experience in scenarios such as highways, urban areas, parking and battery swapping.
NIO Aquila Super Sensing features 33 high-performance sensing units including an ultralong-range high-resolution LiDAR, 11x 8MP high-resolution cameras, enhanced driver monitoring system, 5x millimetre wave radars, 12x ultrasonic sensors, redundant high-precision localization units and V2X. While more hardware doesn’t mean better autonomy, it is impressive that NIO packages all that into the car with just subtle bumps at the top of the windscreen.
NAD’s full features will be gradually rolled out after development validation, and be available to users via a RMB 680 (A$22) monthly subscription under ADaaS (AD as a Service).
The 10.2″ HDR instrument cluster further boosts the vividness of images. Enabled by the cutting-edge hardware, continuous software development and content creation, elevated by the all-new 256-color curtain ambient lighting and Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 surround sound system.
When it comes to safety, NIO has engineered the car to meet the five-star C-NCAP and Euro NCAP standards, the ET5 boasts ultrahigh-strength steel-aluminum hybrid body with the torsional stiffness up to 34,000 N·m/deg. With an ultra-low gravity center at 482.6 mm and an ultra-wide wheel track of 1,685 mm, the ET5 has achieved a rollover-resistance rating of 1.7, above the NHTSA’s five-star criteria.
The ET5 comes with an impressive 9 exterior colour options, among which the First Light Kiss and the Sunbathe Yellow are exclusive to this model, and the Airspace Blue is the NIO Color of 2022.
The ET5 is priced at RMB 328,000 ($72,207) for the 75kWh battery (before subsidies) or the 100kWh version costs RMB 386,000 (A$84,975).
If you opt for the BaaS (Battery-as-a-Service) option, you’ll pay just RMB 258,000 (A$56,797) upfront, then pay RMB 980 ($215) for the 75kWh battery or RMB 1,480 (A$325) for the 100kWh battery each month.
There was no pricing made available on the 150kWh battery option.
This places the battery cost around $15,410, a significant percentage of the overall cost and while the concept of battery swaps may not appeal to everyone, NIO has done more than 4 million of them by October this year, up from 2 million in March, so clearly it’s working for their customers in China.
Obviously, these prices would need to have GST applied to them, as well as any state taxes and delivery fees, but we are talking in the ballpark of where Tesla and other competitors like the Polestar 2 are priced.
Deliveries of the NIO ET5 is expected to start in September 2022 and are expected to expand globally in 2025.
“The year of 2021 is full of challenges. With a positive and optimistic attitude and outlook, NIO has grown together with its users. In 2022, we will continue to double down on product and technology development, accelerate the deployment of our service network, and enter more markets globally. We are confident about the road ahead.”
William Li, NIO’s founder, chairman and CEO,
I really hope we see NIO launch into Australia sooner rather than later as the ET5 could do exceptionally well here.
You can watch the full 2021 NIO Day below.
More information at NIO.com
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