Chinese EV maker NIO has started production of its first sedan, the ET7 flagship EV, on March 24, just four days before customer deliveries are scheduled to start in China.

The production process of the NIO ET7 at the plant in Hefei, Anhui province, involves four workshops: stamping, bodywork, painting and final assembly. The company says that each vehicle undergoes multiple inspections before finally reaching mass-production standards.

NIO aims to gradually increase the production speed to meet the standards of mass production while at the same time ensuring that the quality of the ET7 and its components meet the requirements of the Production Part Approval Process.

Once that is achieved, it means the ET7 can meet the quality standards for delivery. The earliest reservation holders in China will start getting their ET7 electric sedans from March 28, although NIO noted that delivery times will vary by region due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gallery: NIO ET7

At launch, the EV maker offers two variants of the ET7, the regular model and the first edition, with pre-subsidy prices of RMB 448,000 ($70,400) and RMB 526,000 ($82,700), respectively. Customers who to choose the battery rental service BaaS (Battery-as-a-Service) will see the starting price slashed by at least RMB 70,000.

Despite being priced above China’s maximum purchase subsidy threshold of RMB 300,000, the NIO ET7 still qualifies for subsidies as it features battery swap capability. According to an earlier announcement, private customers are eligible for a subsidy of RMB 11,340 for the NIO with the standard 75-kWh battery pack or RMB 12,600 for the model with a 100-kWh battery. 

The 150-kWh pack claimed to offer a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on the NEDC cycle is not yet available to order.

Regardless of the battery pack, all ET7 models feature a dual-motor AWD powertrain with a combined output of 644 horsepower and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft) of torque, enabling a zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 3.9 seconds.

NIO unveiled the ET7, its first model based on its NT2.0 platform and the first to use the Banyan operating system featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chips, at the NIO Day 2020 event on January 9, 2021. 

CnEVPost reports that at the Q4 2021 earnings call held earlier today, NIO CEO William Li said that orders for the ET7 exceed the rumored 15,000, without providing a number.

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