23 Jan
Electric SUV’s Range Lengthened by On-the-Go Power Vans Electric SUV’s Range Lengthened by On-the-Go Power Vans

Electric SUV’s Range Lengthened by On-the-Go Power Vans

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Chinese startup NIO has come up with an alternative to the Tesla X, a popular electric-vehicle SUV in China despite being slapped with high import tariffs.

Recently, NIO announced the launch of its first production car, the NIO ES8, an all-electric SUV that's pegged at a cheaper price than the Tesla X. And while the introduction of the vehicle was announced several months ago, NIO's leadership decided to make a bigger deal out of the official introduction: Thousands of guests were reportedly flown in to Beijing for a spectacular product launch event.

The 7-seater ES8 features a 70 kWh battery pack that allows for an NDEC-rated range of 220 miles (355 km), which translates into a real-world range of about 186 miles (about 300 km).

According to ElectricTrek, the vehicle includes the company's new NIO Pilot driver assist system run by a hardware configuration of “1 trifocal front-facing camera, 4 surround exterior cameras, 5 wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 1 driver monitoring camera.” This setup is along the lines of that used in Tesla’s most recent Autopilot suite -- except that NIO's version runs on Mobileye’s technology and EyeQ4 chip rather than Tesla’s vision system on Nvidia hardware.

What's more, NIO is peddling a battery renting scheme that brings the upfront price of the SUV to roughly $42,000 USD (RMB 275,400). While renting a battery runs about $200 USD per month (RMB 1,280), owners can swap out their run-down batteries for fully recharged ones via battery exchange stations. And the company plans to deploy a fleet of vans outfitted with battery chargers and battery packs that can increase the ES8's range by 100 km in approximately 10 minutes.

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Read 2881 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 January 2018 02:40
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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