NIO ES8: U.S. CEO Reveals Details On Upcoming Electric SUV

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 9

Nio ES8

NIO ES8

Chinese electric vehicle startup, Nio (formerly NextEV), is moving to take on Tesla with its NIO ES8 electric SUV, and Business Insider pulled some insight from the automaker’s U.S. boss.

The NIO ES8 was recently unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in China. The company has already produced six flagship EP9 supercars, one of which just broke the all-time Nurburgring lap record recently set by Lamborghini. Former Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet, Jr., who now drives for NextEV in the all-electric Formula E racing series, and contributes at InsideEVs, happened to be at the ES8 unveiling in Shanghai.

NIO’s all-electric EP9 just broke the all-time Nurburgring lap record. This is surely not a startup that is lacking in resources or experience.

NIO will begin delivering the ES8 electric SUV in China in 2018. China is the world’s largest automotive market, and is showing tremendous electric vehicle sales growth. In 2015 and 2016, China exceeded both the U.S. and Europe in electric car sales. Tesla specifically has seen a massive sales increase in China, but still sells more of its vehicles in North America.

Enough with the background information …

Business Insider was fortunate to connect with former Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior, NIO’s U.S. CEO, for a little detail grab regarding the upcoming NIO ES8. Let’s take a look at what she had to share:

  • NIO has a value of $2.9 billion and has raised about $1 billion thus far
  • In March 2017, Tencent (of whom also recently acquired 5% of Tesla for $1.78 billion) and Baidu led an $87 million funding round for NIO
  • NIO has plans to sell 10 EP9 electric supercars at $1.48 million a piece
  • NIO has already secured autonomous driving permits in the state of California
  • The startup plans to sell an electric SUV in the U.S. by 2020
  • The ES8 seats seven and comes with standard all-wheel drive
  • The ES8 will be manufactured as a partnership with China’s JAC motors
  • The ES8 will utilize a “swappable” battery
  • The ES8 will feature a digital cockpit with a large infotainment system, and an AI assistant that links the car and home
  • The initial ES8 will come equipped with Level 2 autonomy, comparable to Tesla’s current offerings

Warrior also revealed that NIO will be collecting data to develop software capable of Level 4 autonomy. By the time the electric SUV hits the U.S. market, it will have full self-driving capability. Tesla’s former engineer for Autopilot, Jamie Carlson, is heading up NIO’s autonomous division. He previously worked with Apple in special projects, and is assumed to have been involved in some capacity with Apple’s secretive “Project Titan” self-driving Apple Car venture.

Source: Business Insider

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9 responses to "NIO ES8: U.S. CEO Reveals Details On Upcoming Electric SUV"

  1. DJ says:

    How about you bring this to the US market without full self driving capability. No need to wait that long 😀

  2. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I seriously hope that my first ever PEV SUV isn’t a Chinese one. Nothing against the Chinese automaker. But it would be a shame on the domestic automakers for falling so far behind.

    1. Jake Brake says:

      NIOs vehicles for the US are getting engineered domestically in san jose. Manufacturing will likely be in China, but honestly what isnt made in Asia these days.

  3. Mikael says:

    Now that is a sexy and utilitarian SUV. Can we get a copy of that for the Model Y?

    1. Samwise says:

      To my eye it is incredibly similar to the Outlander PHEV, that is probably a good thing, oh but you don’t have that in the US either right?

      1. Mikael says:

        I was thinking the new XC60.

  4. Threader says:

    chinese need to drop the front dragon mouth aggressive design language to relic ice designs.

  5. Ben rob says:

    I just hate these low quality chinese products

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