We’ve been waiting for Chinese automaker NIO to release their electric sedan for quite some time now, and now it’s finally here. The ET7, as it’s called, is here to take the fight to the likes of Tesla, and it looks like they might be able to pull it off.
In China, technically, pre-subsidy prices for the ET7 sedan start from 378,000 yuan (equal to $58,380 at today’s exchange rates), but that’s without the batteries, which is one of the most expensive components of the car. Much like cable providers, in this case, you’ll have to lease the equipment (aka the batteries) from the automaker. Alternatively, you can buy the ET7 with batteries for 448,000 yuan (about $69,200).
The sedan includes such standout features as a “heartbeat taillight”, a laminated glass roof, heated, ventilated, and massaging seats in both rows, a 23-speaker sound system, and a low drag coefficient of just 0.23.
The driving range for the standard 70-kWh battery pack is over 328 miles (500 km), 435 miles (700 km) for the 100-kWh battery pack, and with the newly-introduced 150-kWh battery pack, that increases to upwards of 621 miles (1,000 km). The vehicle is rated at 644 hp ( 653 PS / 480 kW) and 627 lb-ft (850Nm) of torque, and it accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds.
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Founder William Li says the ET7 sedan can work with the company’s new autonomous driving system (available as a subscription for around $105 per month) that features a camera resolution of 8 megapixels—compared to Tesla’s 1.2 megapixels—and Nvidia processing chips that allegedly offer 7 times greater processing power greater than that of Tesla’s full self-driving computers. Li also noted the ET7 will be fitted with lidar sensors to allow the car to better perceive its surroundings. This same technology was previously dismissed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
The lidar sensor features a 1550 nanometer laser, a 120-degree field of view, and a range of up to 500 meters. The system can dynamically focus on objects of interest, allowing for the accurate detection of objects with millimetric precision. Finally, as part of the car’s 33 total sensing units, it also contains a 5mm wave radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 2 high-precision positioning units.
NIO is also working on systems to enable the fastest battery swap service in the world, called Power Swap Station 2.0, allowing for a fully-automated swap in less 3 minutes. During this process, battery and system checks are also performed. The battery swap stations would also only take up a footprint of around 3 parking spaces, so as not to be too intrusive to the surrounding areas.
See Also: NIO Unveils ‘Battery As A Service’ Program In China, Making EVs Cheaper To Purchase
Each station can accommodate 13 batteries, and would be able to perform up to 312 swaps per day. Additionally, NIO’s vehicles will be able to automatically park themselves in the station, and the company expects its total number of deployed 2.0 stations to reach 500 by the end 2021.
Deliveries for the ET7 are set to begin in China the first quarter of 2022, and pre-orders are currently open for a price of around $772.
The car’s unveiling took place at the company’s annual Nio Day, and it’s revealed around the 2 hour and 3 minute mark in the video above with the specs mentioned right before.