Today, at the Chengdu Motor Show, NIO launched its third mass-produced model, the NIO EC6 electric coupe. There are three variants with pricing ranging from RMB 368,000 ($52,441 US) to RMB 526,000 ($74,957 US) before government subsidies.
The EC6 is the coupe or "sportback" version of the ES6, NIO's popular mid-sized SUV, and shares similar exterior dimensions and an identical interior design.
The EC6 features NIO Pilot hardware, including a Mobileye EyeQ4 chip with 23 sensors. NIO Pilot supports over 20 functions covering typical traffic scenarios of what vehicles frequently encounter in China. NIO Pilot can be upgraded over time via firmware-over-the-air (FOTA).
The EC6 has a full-digital cabin with a 9.8-inch instrument cluster, an 11.3-inch high-definition multi-touch center display, and of course, NOMI Mate 2.0, NIO's unique digital assistant, fitted with an AMOLED full-circular display. NOMI is an interactive personal assistant in the form of a voice-activated circular display on top of the dashboard that is designed to imitate a human face. NIO calls NOMI the world's first in-vehicle artificial intelligence.
As will all NIO vehicles, unlimited free battery swapping is included. The EC6 is offered in 70 kWh and 100 kWh battery options with NEDC range estimates of 440 km (273 miles) and 615 km (381), respectively. Of course, the NEDC range rating is not as realistic as either the WLTP or EPA range rating systems, so the actual driving range will probably be about 25% to 33% less.
The EC6 is available in three trim levels, the Sport Edition, Performance Edition, and the Signature Edition. The Sport Edition is equipped with 160kW front and rear dual permanent magnet motors and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/hr in 5.4 seconds making it the slowest version. Both the Performance and Signature editions have a 240kW rear motor, (a total of 544 hp and 535 lb-ft torque) and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/hr in 4.5 seconds.
That may not be ludicrous-speed fast, but it's more than fast enough for the Chinese market. In China, more emphasis is placed on comfort and luxury than ultra-high performance, as there aren't many places that owners can utilize such high performance.
Gallery: NIO EC6
In that regard, the EC6 is a winner because its cabin is extremely comfortable and luxurious. I know this from first-hand experience, as I've spent some time driving two NIO ES6s around Beijing last year. I found the interior comfort, as well as the fit and finish to be on par with the established premium automotive brands.
Personally, I like the look of the EC6 and think it's going to be well-received in China. Together with NIO's battery swap system and ever-growing network of superchargers (all DC-fast chargers are called superchargers in China), NIO customers have an advantage over owners of other EV brands.
I had the opportunity to interview some of NIO's customers at NIO-Day 2019 and every one of them sited the battery swap network as one of the primary reasons they purchased the vehicle. Charging an EV in China can be a challenge, as most citizens do not live in single-family homes where they have control of their electricity. Therefore public charging infrastructure is extremely important, not just for road trips, but for everyday driving. Like other NIOs, the battery swap service will definitely make it a more attractive proposition. You can virtually drive your NIO as long as you have it without ever paying a penny for electricity to charge it.
What are your thoughts on the EC6? If this EV were available in your market would you be interested? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.