Biz / Auto

New-energy startup to reveal first sedan

Hu Yumo
 NIO's fourth electric vehicle to be released on Saturday into an increasingly competitive Chinese market as company pledges continued investment in smart vehicle technologies. 
Hu Yumo

Chinese new-energy vehicle startup NIO is to release its latest model on Saturday as the company seeks a better position amid fierce competition in the domestic market.

In addition to the new sedan, William Li, NIO’s founder, chairman and CEO, said the startup will also unveil its latest technology developments such as autonomous driving.

Li said the firm will continue to invest in key smart electric vehicle technologies this year, accelerate research and development of new products, and expand its sales and service network.

Established in 2014, NIO currently has three electric models — its EP9 supercar, ES8 sport-utility vehicle and a sport-utility coupe. The new car will be its first sedan.

Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of NIO, said the new car will be in direct competition with BMW’s X7.

Competition in the China’s electric vehicle market is heating up and buyers have a variety of choices, including Tesla’s China-made Model 3 and Model Y as well as other models from new-energy vehicle startups.

US electric carmaker Tesla has shaved about 30 percent off its previously announced prices for its Model Y series. It will have a starting price of 339,000 yuan (US$52,425) and vehicles will be delivered to consumers this month. 

On January 3, NIO said it had delivered 7,007 vehicles to buyers in December, an increase of 32.4 percent from November and a jump of 121 percent year on year. It delivered 43,728 units in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 112.6 percent.

In order to expand its charging network, NIO built 49 battery-swap stations and 80 supercharging stations last year. A total of 172 battery-swap stations and 100 supercharging stations had been built in China as of January 3.

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