Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker NIO (NYSE:NIO) unveiled its new ET7 luxury sedan at the 2021 “NIO Day” over the weekend, making it clear that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will have more competition coming for its Shanghai-produced vehicles.
The ET7 will be available early next year, and has some intricate features. The sleek exterior includes autonomous driving sensors, a “crystal-like heartbeat” tail light, all-glass roof, and a digital entry system that extends the flush handle, and automatically releases the door’s “e-latch” as the driver approaches.
NIO founder and chairman William Li described the interior as a “second living room concept.” The design features renewable rattan, a natural alternative to plastics, that has a distinctive natural texture throughout. Li described the tropical material as providing a “natural and green experience.”
The ET7, which will be NIO’s first sedan, comes with a larger 150 kWh battery pack. It will provide a range of about 621 miles, according to the company. That’s further than Tesla’s Model S maximum range of 402 miles, as well as the Lucid Motors Air sedan range of 517 miles.
The Chinese EV market is quickly ramping up. NIO reported record fourth quarter deliveries of 17,353 vehicles — more than double the prior year period. Chinese competitors Li Auto and XPeng also announced record deliveries. China’s largest EV maker, Warren Buffett-backed BYD (OTC:BYDDY), sold more than 77,000 EVs in the fourth quarter.
Tesla is also increasing its offerings in the country, as it begins producing the Model Y SUV at its Shanghai factory. Before any subsidies, and with the smaller, 70 kWh battery pack, NIO’s new ET7 will start at about $69,000.
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