NIO, Chinese automobile startup, has launched the NIO ES8 electric SUV at half the price of the Tesla Model X SUV. The NIO ES8 may sound like the name for a smartphone but is a proper electric vehicle. The NIO ES8 features dual electric motors that output a combined 652PS of power and 840Nm of torque. The 70 kilowatt-hour VDA square cell battery on the NIO ES8 is liquid cooled for optimum performance. The NIO ES8 is primarily a competitor for the Tesla Model X, but is priced at 4,48,000 yuan (Rs 43.45 lakh approx) in China where it is manufactured. While the vehicle has been launched and bookings have also begun in the origin country, the developers of the NIO ES8 say that they will begin deliveries only after the car completes its comprehensive 3 million km test run. With the delay from Elon Musk's Tesla Inc to reach India, manufacturers such as NIO could stand to benefit in the Indian market by acting fast, in the face of the Indian government's strong stance for an all-electric future.
The NIO ES8 delivers sportscar-like performance with a 0-100kmph time of 4.4 seconds. However, at the moment, China is the only country where the ES8 electric SUV is available for purchase. There are no details on the possibility and timeline of its launch in international markets including India. The battery on the ES8 is rated for a 2,000-charge lifecycle, and the company is offering a rental plan to customers for easy swapping at the end of the battery's life as well as a mobile emergency charging service to help owners charge it on the go, when needed. India meanwhile has just witnessed the first batch of electric vehicles to be delivered to a government agency EESL, in the form of the Tata Tigor electric.