Chinese EV manufacturer Nio has unveiled its new mid-size sedan ET5. With the largest battery, the sedan’s range is expected to be more than 1,000 kilometres. Nio also reveals it will be introducing “its products and holistic service system to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in 2022.”
The premiere took place as part of the ‘Nio Day’ that the manufacturer holds annually. In terms of design, the ET5 follows the familiar form of the ET7, although Nio does draw attention to the sportier orientation of the smaller sedan. Among other features, the electric car’s “muscular haunches” are said to be inspired by the EP9 super sports car.
With its two electric motors (150 kW induction asynchronous motor at the front and 210 kW permanent magnet motor at the rear), the Nio ET5 offers 360 kW of power. Thanks to 700 Nm of torque, the car is said to be able to accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. Nio only mentions this performance figure but has not yet revealed whether the available power varies with the different battery options or whether a rear-wheel drive-only version will also be offered. Delivery however is to begin in China in September 2022
In terms of battery options, Nio has three to choose from: standard, long-range and ultra-long-range. According to the Chinese CLTC standard, the ET5 can make ranges of over 550 kilometres with the 75-kWh battery, over 700 kilometres with the 100-kWh battery and over 1,000 kilometres with the 150-kWh battery. Nio has not yet provided any information on the car’s charging power. This is unlikely to exceed 110 kW, at least for the Chinese models. As has become a business feature of Nio’s products, the new sedan will also be offered with BaaS (Battery as a Service) and battery swapping.
As is usual with Nio’s presentations, instead of providing the most detailed data possible on electric motors and batteries, Nio focuses on the interior and digitalisation. The electric car manufacturer says that the interior follows the Nio concept of “second living space.” In places, Nio has used natural hues like the new terracotta interior, but also a more sustainable fabric cover.
The ‘PanoCinema’ display is an industry first, as the manufacturer puts it, for which Nio has created a digital cockpit with panoramic views using a combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). This is likely to be quite a visual treat. AR goggles have been developed in conjunction with Nreal, which are said to yield an effective screen size of 201 inches at 6 meters. The innovative Chinese manufacturer is also collaborating with Nolo to jointly develop the NIO VR Glasses. These have ultra-thin Pancake lenses, giving a binocular 4K display effect. The 10.2-inch HDR instrument cluster adds further visual stimulation and information with what will be quite an immersive digital cockpit.
With this all-around digital experience keeping the driver saturated with information, the driver can still relinquish control with autonomous functions. The ET5 is equipped with the latest version of the ‘NIO Autonomous Driving’ (NAD) driving assistant. The full set of features will be released gradually after what the company says will be further development and validation to enable “a safe and reassuring autonomous driving experience in scenarios such as highways, urban areas, parking and battery swapping.” For customers in China, the NAD will be offered as part of a software subscription for RMB 680 per month under ADaaS (Autonomous Driving as a Service).
In Europe, Nio is so far only active in Norway, where the first ES8s have been delivered since autumn. Nio also wants to launch in Germany in 2022 and has now said it will introduce “its products and holistic service system to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in 2022.” This would indicate that the Chinese company wants to introduce both its cars and battery-swapping systems to these European countries next year. Nio is already planning battery swapping stations in Norway, and the first step for battery swapping stations has already been certified by TÜV.
Just last month Nio joined forces with Shell to jointly build battery swapping services in China and to operate pilot stations in Europe from 2022. This suggests that Nio does indeed have big plans for battery swapping in Europe and now potentially have the clout to realize these plans.
Prices in China start at 328,000 yuan before subsidies or 258,000 yuan if the battery is leased. Nio has not yet announced pricing for the larger battery variants or battery rental. There was also a small update on the larger ET7: Its deliveries are scheduled to start on March 28, 2022.
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