Chinese car company NIO has started shipping its new ET7 electric vehicle from a plant in Anhui province, where the company is headquartered.
The first shipments arrived a few days after announcing the start of production – according to the schedule set for the company. Currently, shipments will only start within China, although it is also available for pre-purchase in Europe, with first shipments expected at the end of the year.
At this stage, Nio will offer for purchase two versions of the new model: the “General Version” or the “First Edition” at a price of 448,000 Chinese yuan (about 225,000 NIS) or 526,000 Chinese yuan (about 52,000 yuan). 265 thousand NIS), respectively. NIO will also allow the vehicle to be purchased with a “Battery as a Service” – using a removable battery without owning the battery – which can reduce the price of the vehicle by at least NIS 35,000.
According to the company, the vehicle will be equipped with a battery with a capacity of 150 kWh and a range of no less than 1000 (thousand!) Kilometers for a full battery. However, only vehicles equipped with a battery with a capacity of 100 kilowatt-hours and an estimated range of 675 kilometers are currently available for purchase.
Recall that Chinese manufacturers use the NEDC standard to calculate the range of travel. This is an old and very “optimistic” standard, so it is expected that in the real world the travel range will be much lower than the statements. This is the first vehicle to be based on the new NT2.0 system, which is expected to significantly improve the vehicle’s performance.
Although in the West, and here too, efforts are being made to suppress and forget the epidemic and not pay back the social and economic prices we have paid in the past two years, in China the picture is currently a bit different – and the new restrictions in some provinces are directly affecting NIO. In announcing the start of shipments, which began on March 28, NIO added a reservation that shipments and schedules would “vary between regions in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.”
And not only does Corona compete for the company’s attention: despite the start of shipments, as well as investment in more advanced vehicles ( like ET5 , for example), the company’s main goal right now is to increase its production capacity – recall that in 2021 the company sold a record 91,000 Vehicles , which still do not even tickle the numbers that Tesla , to which it is aiming, reach.
“A key task on the road to large-scale production is to gradually and steadily increase the pace of production to keep up with demand while ensuring that the quality of all vehicle components, and the vehicle as a whole, meet performance requirements and production standards,” the company said in a press release.
NIO has been under the “promising companies that threaten Tesla” category for nearly two years now, and with the unveiling of its new platform, as well as the pair of ET7s and ET5s, the company seems to be aiming there in full force. Not only is it within driving range and battery size – but it is also about improved production qualities and an improved user experience that the company claims to offer.
In addition to the huge battery capacity it offers, the use of NT2.0 should improve the vehicle’s energy management and allow a combination of more advanced systems – including driver assistance systems, which come with a variety of LIDAR sensors and cameras installed by the company inside the vehicle.
According to the company, this is the basis for more advanced autonomous capabilities, which will be developed in the coming years – and later this year it should start offering a service similar to Tesla’s autopilot for highways, at least in some areas where it provides service.
And the improvement is noticeable not only on the technological level – after the announcement of the start of shipments, the company’s share rose by 6.5 percent and now stands at $ 21. While this is half the value of the stock five months ago, it seems like the start of a new trend direction for the company.
According to NIO’s plans, during the year it should reach a production capacity of 600,000 vehicles a year – six times the vehicles it produced last year – which will only be possible if it invests the best lecturer in increasing production capacity, along with successes in the vibrant but clearly preferred European market.
Although we have not yet been exposed to the company’s numbers since the beginning of the year, so far it seems that the company has met all the goals it has set for itself.
On the one hand, the company is trying to grab the forefront of the stage with impressive models, technological improvements, and increasing production capacity. On the other side a new brand, which has not yet built itself a name, will be difficult to break into the market with the prices of current models.