China's Nio Unveils Car At Half The Price Of Tesla Model X

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The ES8 is a 7-seater full-size SUV and the vehicle was introduced over the weekend by chairman and founder William Li.

"Of course, we can compete against Tesla, technologically and product-wise", he said. The electric vehicle market is booming and will still maintain a growth in sales, grabbing customers that will purchase from both brands. "It's hard to say".

"Tesla is a company founded in the era of the internet while NIO was born in the era of mobile internet". It also comes equipped with the Nio Pilot, a driver-assistance system as well as an in-car artificial intelligence or AI system called NOMI that can help regulate the temperature and play music based on voice requests.

Despite being much cheaper than its USA -based rival, the Nio ES8 sounds like it can hold its own against the Model X. It's a large, all-wheel drive seven seater that accelerates to from 0 to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds. The vehicle is also customized and made-to-order with interested buyers able to place an order through the Nio App.

According to the Global EV Outlook 2017 report by the International Energy Agency, China was responsible for 40% of global electric auto sales in 2016, selling double the number of EVs sold in the United States.

Beijing continues to provide large subsidies and makes state investments in the EV sector, including building charging networks.

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Buyers can also opt for a subscription service on the battery, which includes "battery upgrading services, along with quality assurance, roadside assistance, vehicle connectivity, and nationwide charging services", according to the company.

To address difficulties around charging, NIO also unveiled NIO Power, a charging experience that allows the ES8's battery to be swapped in three minutes, in addition to traditional charging methods.

The startup plans to build more than 1,100 power-swap stations in China by 2020 and have more than 1,200 "Power Mobile" service vehicles.

The state-supported push of the China EV market along with its technology has enticed global auto giants such as Volkswagen and BMW to join in along with tech giants from China - Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.

After showing a few autonomous and electric vehicle concepts, NIO has debuted its first model destined for full-scale production. And there is market speculation that NIO is eyeing an initial public offering next year, though Li declined to comment.

"The plan of entering capital markets is just a necessary process during the development of the company". However, Li said there is no specific deadline for an IPO, rather it will "depend of the development of the company". "If we can be ourselves and we do what we think is right, we will have our market share".

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