NIO to Launch Cheaper Electric SUV ES3

The Nio stand at the Auto Shanghai show in April. Nio is one of a batch of start-ups that raised billions as China became the world’s largest market for electric and hybrid vehicles © Bloomberg

NIO Co-founder and President Qin Lihong publicly stated that NIO will release another electric SUV next year. This SUV will be based on the company’s first generation of SUVs, but in a different shape.

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The new family-sized comfort SUV will provide a new option for consumers in China for a mid-sized car between the mainstream A-class and B-class SUVs. Facing fierce competition from its premium segment rival Tesla, NIO is under a lot of pressure to launch a model targeting the mainstream market to tackle its dwindling sales figures.

The Chinese EV maker is expecting to sell 80,000 units of the ES3 in 2020 and up to to 150,000 units in 2021, which would account for one-third of the company’s total sales volume and make the model the most popular product of NIO.

Although the official name of the new car has not yet been announced, NIO’s third release will likely be named ES3, based on the naming pattern of the previous two SUV models and the existing trademark registration. From the perspective of the numerical size of the naming, the overall size of the car is expected to be between the traditional mainstream A-class and B-class SUV.

NIO ES 8

Insiders analyzed the International Finance News report, and found that there is an overlap between the markets of NIO’s first two models, ES8 and ES6. The sales of the ES8 plummeted when the cheaper ES6 was released. However, with a 358,000 yuan price tag, the ES6 could still not be considered a very affordable option and was not able to sell in large quantities.

As for the price, Qin explained that although NIO wants to offer affordable vehicles, the EV maker is considering itself a high-end brand. In other words, the price of the ES3 will most likely exceed 200,000 yuan. He also revealed that the NIO ES3 will be based on NIO’s first-gen SUV platform with some added modifications and tweaks. Thus, it is expected that the electric car range and efficiency (NEDC) of ES3 will exceed 500 kilometers.

According to NIO, the ES3 will be ready for delivery late next year.