The NIO ES8 retails at half the price of a Tesla Model X and has a range of 335km!
After making its debut at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show in April 2017, NIO, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup, launched its first-ever Tesla Model-X rivalling SUV, the ES8, around mid-December. Like the Tesla, even the NIO ES8 offers fully autonomous driving technology.
In China, NIO’s home market, the ES8 costs approximately half the price of the Model X. This is because the latter attracts heavy taxes as it is imported directly to the country. Despite the high asking price, the Chinese media claims that the Tesla X is one of the most popular EVs on sale in the country, which also happens to be the leading market in the world for EVs thanks to the substantial push from the Chinese government.
(Limited 10k units: Sold-out)
~ Rs 53.16 lakh
RMB 448,000/ RMB 375,400 (post GOV incentives)
~ Rs 43.46 lakh / ~ Rs 36.41 lakh
The initial deliveries of the NIO ES8 are likely to begin early next year in China. There’s no word on the introduction of the ES8 in other markets, but expect it to happen in the near future as the automaker calls itself a ‘global start-up’!
Interestingly, the NIO ES8 comes with an autonomous battery swapping option, which helps it attain full juice in just 3 minutes by replacing a used battery pack with a recharged one! It is a crucial feature which will certainly reduce the range anxiety one usually associates with EVs. NIO claims that the over-5m long SUV has a range of 335km on a single charge according to the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). Like Tesla’s superchargers (check out the picture below), NIO will reportedly setup 1000+ battery swapping stations in a couple of years in China. The company is even providing a battery renting option which brings down the overall cost of the SUV by RMB 100,000 (~ Rs 9.70 lakh). However, it will require owners to shell out RMB 1,280 (~ Rs 12.5K) on a monthly basis.
On a related note, the Indian government is also pushing towards introducing EVs here by 2030. Just to put things into perspective, under the government's latest tax regime, EVs attract the least amount of tax when compared to the rest of the segments. Further, automakers such Toyota and Suzuki (Maruti Suzuki) are coming up with EVs primarily for the Indian market, while homegrown manufacturers Tata and Mahindra are already producing EVs for the passenger car market.
Speaking of Tesla, although the American electric carmaker says it will bring the Model 3 to India, expect it to be priced on the heavy side thanks to it being imported as a completely built unit (CBU), which attracts heavier taxes when compared to cars assembled in Indian soil. Though Tesla has no plans of setting up a facility in India as of yet, it is expected to come up with one in the coming years. The launch of the Model 3 could be followed by bringing the Model S and Model X here as well.
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