Nio launches autonomous electric sedan

11 January 2021

11 January 2021 Chinese electrically-chargeable vehicle (EV) maker, Nio, has launched the ET7, an autonomous electric sedan. The battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is reportedly capable of a new European driving cycle (NEDC) range of more than 1,000km when fitted with a 150kWh battery. Unveiled at its ′Nio Day Event,’ in Chengdu, the ET7 will be avliable for delivery in China during the first quarter of 2022. It is expected to cost RMB 448,000 (€56,854) or RMB 378,000 if consumers choose the battery-as-a-service (BaaS) option. Meanwhile, a premier edition will cost RMB 526,000, or RMB 398,000 with the battery-subscription option. Smart flagship The flagship sedan is fitted with the latest Nio autonomous-driving (NAD) technology, including its Aquilla super-sensing and Adam supercomputing systems. NAD’s 19 safety and driver-assistance features come as standard, while the full functions are only offered through a subscription of RMB 680 per month. The Aquilla system alone features 33 sensing units, including 11 cameras, one ultralong-range LiDAR, five millimetre-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and two high-precision positioning units, all of which can generate 8 gigabytes of data per second. The EV maker claims its NAD technology ′brings safer and more relaxing autonomous driving from point A to point B.’ It hopes to gradually expand use cases from highways and urban parking to battery swapping. Leading the charge After launching its BaaS concept in August last year, Nio is making sure it features in its new sedan. The service allows subscribers to swap out and even upgrade their batteries as needed. These swappable units will power a permanent 180kW magnet motor in the front of the car and a 300kW induction motor in the rear. These motors achieve a maximum power of 480kW, meaning the ET7 can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds, with a peak torque of 850Nm. When it comes to stopping, the sedan has a 33.5m braking distance from 100 km/h. With all this power, Nio claims the ET7 has a range of over 500km when equipped with a 70kWh battery, or roughly 700km with a 100kWh battery. It is only when fitted with a new 150KWh unit that the ET7 can reach an NEDC range of above 1,000 km. Smart air suspension and continuous damping control both come as standard. Using high-definition maps and precision sensors, Nio’s new sedan can detect road bumpiness and actively adjust the suspension for a more comfortable ride. ′Second living room’ ′The interior of ET7 is a further interpretation of the second living room concept: a sophisticated and cosy mobile living space,’ Nio claims. The standard frameless windows and soft-close doors seal the ET7’s passengers in a space featuring the renewable palm plant, rattan. Heated and ventilated massage seats in the front and rear also come as standard in the ET7. The EV maker’s second-generation digital cockpit features enhanced in-car mobile connectivity, powered by the 3rd Generation Qualcomm Snapdragon automotive cockpit platform. Following the trend of large touchscreen hubs, the ET7 is equipped with a 12.8-inch AMOLED display, as well as Nomi, Nio’s in-car AI system. While a release date for the European market has yet to be announced, Nio is reportedly looking to enter Europe in the second half of 2021. With the sedan also designed to achieve Euro NCAP’s five-star rating, it might not be long before the ET7 is seen on European roads.