Chinese startup takes on Tesla with an all-electric SUV

Electric car startup NIO has launched its ES8 all-electric SUV in China. NIO touts fast charging capabilities and 220 miles of range with their first fully electric SUV. The price will be half that of the rival Tesla Model X at RMB 448,000 ($68,000 USD) before any incentives or subsidies. The NIO has the home field advantage due to it being built in China, where as the Tesla Model X is imported and slapped with import duties. The Tesla is also disqualified from subsides because it is not made locally. The all-aluminum bodied NIO looks sleek even without the tacky falcon wing doors on the Model X, instead the ES8 has traditional hinged doors. The ES8 will offer three rows with seating for up to seven occupants. It will have an air suspension system to give occupants a comfortable ride.

The interior will have a high tech infotainment system that consists of two LED screens, one in front of the driver’s steering wheel and the other on the center console. The center console screen will have touch interface and the whole system will have voice command capabilities.

The 70 kilowatt-hour battery pack comprises of prismatic lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) square cells. The batteries can be swapped when needed and have a claimed 2,000 charge cycle. The startup claims that the dual motors will provide roughly 644hp and 620lb/ft of torque. The 0-60mph run will be just 4.4 seconds. The SUV will have semi-autonomous features such as emergency braking, Highway Pilot and Traffic Jam Pilot through the use of Intel’s MobilEye. It be all-wheel drive and have self-parking capabilities as well.


NIO is currently taking reservations in China with deliveries of the ES8 beginning in the first half of 2018.

View the launch of the NIO ES8 all-electric SUV below: