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NIO (NYSE:NIO), one of the largest manufacturers of electric vehicles in the world, is gearing up for its highlight event of the year. Coming to you live from the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre, NIO Day 2021 is expected to herald a veritable volley of new product announcements.
Catch the Livestream of NIO's grand presentation here:
At the start of the presentation, NIO announced that it would expand to over 25 countries and territories by 2025.
NIO announced at today's event that it has now installed home chargers for over 94,000 users. By 2022, the company also plans to add 7kW and 11kW DC chargers for a more convenient home-charging experience. As far as the company's public charging network is concerned, NIO has now deployed 3,348 destination chargers and 3,136 super chargers across China. Crucially, NIO's charging network is open to other EV brands as well. In fact, over 77 percent of the company's charging network is currently being used by non-NIO EVs. Similarly, NIO users can also tap over 440,000 third-party chargers throughout China.
As far as NIO's Power Swap stations are concerned, which allow users to swap depleted batteries for fully charged ones via an automated process that takes less than 3 minutes, the company has added 733 such stations to its network in 2021 alone by creating partnerships with existing gasoline station chains, including Sinopec and Shell. These stations also allow users to upgrade the range of their EVs by switching to a bigger battery. By 2022, NIO will have over 1,300 Power Swap stations, over 6000 super chargers, and around 10,000 destination chargers across China.
The All-new ET5 Sedan
NIO's ET5 mid-size sedan is the highlight of today's show. The company's fifth product offering is expected to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3. Interestingly, the sedan will be manufactured at NIO's gigantic NEO Park facility alongside the ET7 model.
The ET5 will start retailing at RMB 328,000 ($51,000) for 75-kWh battery pack (before the application of subsidies). With NIO's Battery as a Service (BaaS), the pre-subsidy price falls to RMB 258,000. For comparison, the ET7 sedan will start retailing at around RMB 448,000 or $70,270 (before the application of subsidies). Deliveries are expected to commence in September 2022.
This brings us to the crux of the matter. As expected, NIO announced the new ET5 sedan at today's event. The EV bears the same overall design language as that used in the ET7 sedan. The vehicle bears the characteristic X bar and shark nose, daylight LEDs, and progressive front spoilers. It also boasts of high-resolution AD cameras, ultralong range LiDAR, and a watchtower sensor layout. At the back, the ducktail rear spoiler grabs attention along with the illumiBlade taillight. The EV also has an all-glass sunroof. ET5's dual-motor system offers a maximum power output of 360 kW and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 4.3 seconds. The EV has a drag coefficient of 0.24, thereby offering a range of over 550 km with the standard 75-kWh battery pack.
As far as its autonomous driving capabilities are concerned, the ET5 sedan features over 33 high-performance sensing units as a part of the Aquila Sensing. Moreover, Aquila's 4 surround-view cameras have now been upgraded to Sony's latest 3 MP high-sensitivity surround-view cameras that offer better performance in low-light environments. These cameras will also be used in the ET7 sedan. The sedan will come equipped with 17 standard ADAS functions.
Finally, the ET5 comes equipped with AR and VR features. NIO will offer AR glasses exclusive to the ET5 EV in partnership with Nreal. It will also offer AR glasses in partnership with NOLO. The company is also developing an ecosystem of apps to cater to AR/VR use cases. For instance, Aquila's cameras can be used to shoot scenery videos. The following infographic summarizes all of the features in the ET5 sedan:
A Lot More Details Regarding NIO’s Upcoming ET7 Sedan
NIO's ET7 sedan features a heartbeat taillight, a spacious interior and can be unlocked with the world's first UWB digital key. The EV also features a large laminated all-glass roof and NIO's 2nd-gen smart cockpit. ET7 has a drag coefficient of 0.23 and a range of over 500 km with the standard 70-kWh battery pack. However, with a 150-kWh battery pack, the EV's range will increase to over 1,000 km. The vehicle has a maximum power output of 480kW and max torque of 850Nm. The ET7 can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds. The company already has an order backlog of between 50K and 60K units, with Deutsche Bank expecting deliveries of around 30K units in 2022.
Coming to the topic at hand, NIO has now added over 20 new features to the ET7 sedan, including enhancements to its digital cockpit, performance, and ADAS:
ET7's drag coefficient has been improved to 0.208, improving the EV's range to 550 km with the standard 75-kWh battery pack. With the 150-kWh pack, the EV will offer a range in excess of 1,000 km. Crucially, the ET7's order confirmation is expected to commence on the 20th of January 2022 with a deposit of RMB 5,000 that will entail a deduction of RMB 10,000 from the overall price of the vehicle. Existing NIO owners will get an addition discount of RMB 7,000 toward the ET7 sedan. Finally, ET7's deliveries will commence on the 28th of March 2022.
A Surprise New Vehicle, Maybe?
As per the speculation that is rampant on social media, NIO might also tease its sixth model at the event. Some reports suggest that the new vehicle would be a luxury van called EF9. At the same time, other anecdotes contend that the latest model could be the ES7 SUV or a refresh of the existing ES6 model. Stay tuned for any pertinent tidbit.
Unfortunately, NIO did not announce any other model today.
Additional Details Regarding NIO's ADAS
During the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020 held in late September, NIO had unveiled the OS version 2.7.0 of its Navigate on Pilot (NOP) feature. This is an Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) that leverages 23 sensor devices and high-precision mapping to provide location accuracy of up to 20cm. The NOP provides route optimizing service along with lane change recommendations. It can also automatically steer the vehicle along a pre-set route.
At the NIO Day 2020, the company had gone a step further by introducing its autonomous driving feature – NAD. The company's Aquila Sensing features 11 8MP high-resolution cameras (greater resolution than Tesla's 1.2MP camera) that can detect vehicles 680m away and pedestrians over 220m away. The Aquila also contains a high-resolution lidar sensor that has been developed in collaboration with Innovusion. The lidar sensor features a 1550nm laser, a 120-degree field of view, and a range of up to 500m. Moreover, as part of its 33 sensing units, Aquila contains a 5mmWave radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 2 high-precision positioning units.
At today's NIO Day 2021 event, the company announced more details about its ADAM supercomputing platform that features 4 NVIDIA Orin chips and 48 CPU cores, 256 tensor cores, and 8,096 CUDA cores. The platform offers a computing power of over 1,016 TOPS. NIO users will be able to subscribe to NAD via ADaaS (Autonomous Driving as a Subscription) by paying RMB 680 per month.