On its fourth annual NIO Day, the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer NIO unveiled its latest all-electric sedan on Saturday. It was an experience full of laser lights and pop singers. NIO Day given rich information on a new vehicle, autonomous driving, pricing models and EV batteries for investors. The NIO (ticker: NIO) sedan, called the ET7, is about the size of a Model S Tesla (TSLA) and offers impressive features for a quiet ride, such as soft-closing doors, air filtration and acoustic glass.
Those are primarily aesthetic factors. The vehicle also has a range of up to 625 miles, with the most advanced battery options, 625 horsepower and air suspension, on a Porsche, the kind car buyers would find.
An ET7 would cost about $84,000 for drivers. It’s a sedan for comfort.
NIO also introduced a higher-power battery, fresh swapping stations with more regular capacity, in addition to the vehicle. A battery-swapping network is being developed by NIO. Throughout its existence, NIO has tried to address EV issues such as range anxiety and charging time by swapping the entire battery back out. It is a bit like filling up a conventional car at a gas station to swap a battery for an NIO drive. Throughout its history, NIO has completed around 1.5 million battery swaps.
Its self-driving technology was also tested by NIO. Ultrahigh-resolution optical cameras and radar as well as lidar, short for laser-based radar, sensors are used in NIO’s autonomous driving solutions. There are systems used by other manufacturers of vehicles.
Aquila is the name of the NIO autonomous driving sensor and software suite. The machine platform of NIO crunching all the sensor information is called Adam. Nvidia (NVDA) microprocessors power the platform. According to its fiscal year 2020 figures, which ended in January 2020, about 6 percent of Nvidia’s sales are produced in the automotive space.
NIO plans to sell it’s self driving solution as a subscription. That’s something even Tesla has not yet attempted and shows how new EV manufacturers, such as NIO, are trying to generate recurring revenues using software-like solutions.
Some information about sensors regarding field of view and range were also provided in the autonomous driving talk. With a 120 degree field of view, NIO sensors can see up to 500 metres down the lane.
NIO also spoke about batteries, but the specifics were slim. NIO described solid-state batteries, along with new battery chemistries and anode technology, the kind QuantumScape (QS) is pioneering in its presentation. The message for investors is that all EV firms, including NIO, invest heavily in improving the range, cost and reliability of batteries.
Tesla stock, the world’s most valuable EV and car firm, is now trading for an estimated 18 times 2021 revenue. Over the same time, its stock is also up more than 40 percent.
Tesla is more important than NIO, but few other car manufacturers are: NIO is the world’s fourth most valuable car manufacturer and is quickly approaching number three: Volkswagen (VOW.Germany).