EV Startup NIO Begins Deliveries of its ES6 Crossover
Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO has started deliveries of its second mass-market electric crossover to customers in China. The ES6 is a smaller version of the automaker's ES8 full-size electric SUV. The automaker said it delivered the first ES6 Premier Edition models to customers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
NIO is often referred to as the "Tesla of China" and the company is following in the footsteps of the California electric automaker with a lineup of sleek, fully-electric models full of high-tech features.
The ES6 is a 5-passenger, high-performance, long-range, electric SUV. The smaller ES6 follows NIO's first vehicle the ES8, which went on sale last year. The ES6 shares the same EV architecture and underpinnings as the larger ES8.
NIO said its has delivered more than 15,000 ES8s to customers since sales began in June 2018.
The ES6 is intended to be more of a mass-market EV like the Tesla Model 3. NIO expects to push sales significantly higher, and eventually plans to sell the ES6 outside of China, although no formal plans have been announced for selling the ES6 in the U.S. at this time.
NIO Founder, Chairman and CEO, William Li said, "The ES6 is NIO's second mass production model, which we launched after the ES8. In less than five years, we have delivered two mass production models to our users, fulfilling our promises. We will continue to work on production, quality control, and increasing user satisfaction."
The NIO ES6
The ES6 expands upon NIO's design language, with a stylish exterior which is complemented by a refined, high-tech interior. The ES6 is built using a high-strength aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) hybrid structure.
The company says the new ES6 is the world's first production EV combining both permanent magnet and induction motors. Buyers can choose between two powertrains, a 430 horsepower dual motor setup or a more powerful 536 hp configuration delivering 535 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can also choose between a 70 or 84-kWh battery pack for a bit more range.
The ES6 can reach 0 to 60 mph in about 4.7 second while delivering a NEDC range of 510 km (317 miles).
One of the most unique features of the ES6 is its swappable battery pack. The battery is designed be removed in a matter of minutes and replaced with a fully-charged pack at one of NIO's "NIO Power" battery swapping stations. As an added bonus, if an improved battery is introduced by NIO in the future that offers a longer range or more power, the battery pack of the ES6 can be upgraded.
The ES6 was officially launched on December 15, 2018 at a special event called NIO Day 2018. It has a base price of 358,000 yuan ($51,859) before subsidies, much less than a Tesla Model X in China the vehicle its designed to complete with. The Model X starts around $112,000 for the base version.
NIO is also well known in electric racing circles for its EP9, a 1342 horsepower high-performance electric supercar. In October 2016, the EP9 set a record at Germany's famed Nürburgring Nordschliefe, earning the title as the fastest electric car in the world.
NIO is backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent and its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NIO.
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