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Chinese Carmaker Takes on Tesla With an Electric SUV

Chinese Carmaker Takes on Tesla With an Electric SUV

NIO is a 3-year-old startup that now employs more than 4,000 employees across China, Europe and the U.S. It has some deep-pocketed investors, including Chinese tech giants Tencent and Baidu and U.S. venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. "Maybe Tesla will sell less. after our product is out". The electric vehicle market is booming and will still maintain a growth in sales, grabbing customers that will purchase from both brands. "It's hard to say", Li said. These companies want to rival Tesla with smart electric vehicles that feature internet connectivity and new technologies, and by leveraging their understanding of Chinese consumers.

Despite being much cheaper than its US -based rival, the Nio ES8 sounds like it can hold its own against the Model X. It's a large, all-wheel drive seven seater that accelerates to from 0 to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds.

Orders can be placed through an app. There's an AI assistant in the auto called NOMI, which uses in-car and cloud computing to "turn the ES8 into a fun, expressive, and intuitive companion that can listen, talk, and help drivers along the way".

The intense competition to gain major share in the electric vehicle industry in China is backed by Beijing, which is taking necessary precautions and regulations to control air pollution in the country.

As Chinas environmental plan takes shape and start-up companies develop and launch their new-energy vehicles, the support of strong and capable suppliers will be essential.

Beijing also provides generous subsidies and state investment in the sector, including building a battery charging network. And the company's developed a quick battery-swapping system that can change out the ES8's 70kWh power pack in just three minutes. And the high population density in larger Chinese cities means people can't install charging facilities in their own garages, he explained.

China's state-backed fervour to push the EV market and its technology has attracted global giants such as BMW and Volkswagen to join the fray alongside Chinese tech titans Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

Nio also said that a battery rental plan is available to ES8 customers, with a rental subscription of 1,280 yuan per month. But Li said there's no hard date in place for an IPO.

NIO President Lihong Qin told CNN his company plans to "target the middle class in the big cities in China", predicting that market will double in size in the next four to six years.



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