NIO ET7 Electric Sedan Revealed with 150 kWh Battery, 621-Mile Range, LiDAR

NIO ET7 15 photos
Photo: NIO
After making the news for the fog-rivaling smog they have in their cities, the Chinese have taken electric propulsion very seriously. They're a big country, so changes aren't going to be felt as quickly or as dramatically as in Norway, but they're getting there.
Not the kind to settle only on foreign products, it was paramount to create their own local EVs, which is how various brands came to be. NIO is one of them, though one quick look at the company's products and you can tell it has plans to branch out of the Chinese market.

Up to this point, NIO's range included three models - well, four if you count the EP9 hypercar, which you probably shouldn't: the EC6, the ES8, and the ES6. All three can fall into the extended "SUV/crossover" category, so it was time for a change.

Enter the ET7, the brand's first sedan and yet another model that, together with the Lucid Air, looks like it might threaten Tesla's position on the market with its Model S. Provided it will be offered on other markets as well, the main highlights of the Chinese electric sedan will be its range, coupled with its autonomous driving capabilities.

Photo: NIO
NIO says the ET7 will be offered with three different battery options. The base model will feature a 70 kWh pack that will enable it to travel 500 km (310 miles), but only according to the obsolete NEDC standard. Based on that, we would estimate the EPA rating to be around 250 miles (400 km), which is still good, but sounds a lot less impressive.

A middle option with a 100 kWh battery pack will also be offered, enabling the ET6 to cover ranges of up to 700 km (435 miles), while the top model will drag along a huge 150 kWh pack good for 1,000 km (621 miles). All values use the same NEDC standard, meaning they should be taken with a grain of salt.

Perhaps even more impressive is NIO's decision to sell the ET7 with a LiDAR sensor included. The sedan isn't out yet - deliveries are scheduled for the first quarter of 2022 - so we can't call it the first production model with one of these fitted, but considering there aren't too many announced until then, it might still be able to snatch the title.

Photo: NIO
Also remarkable is the way the designers managed to integrate the LiDAR, one of the biggest worries surrounding this technology. You can't exactly call it "seamless", but it's good enough for an excellent drag coefficient of 0.23 cd.

The overall design of the NIO ET7 looks quite pleasing, with a front end that loosely resembles the Kia Stinger and a rear that's reminiscent of an Audi A7, which is by no means a bad combination. The cabin interior also looks modern and cleanly designed, and it includes a display behind the steering wheel - a feature we never thought would become worthy of a mention before the Tesla Model 3 came out.

The Chinese manufacturer plans to sell the ET7 for a RMB 448,000 base price, which is just under $70,000. NIO says it will use a dual-motor setup with a combined output of 480 kW (652 hp) - 180 kW front, 300 kW rear. This powertrain will enable a zero to 62 mph sprint for the electric sedan of 3.9 seconds.

Photo: NIO
So, it will be quick, but it's unlikely we'll see it out on the drag strip too often. It's not clear whether all battery pack sizes will come with the same motor configuration and power output, but that's what appears to be implied.

The hardware in the ET7 is said to be able of Level 5 autonomous driving, with the company going down Tesla's route of offering certain safety-enhancing features as standard but charging extra for self-driving features based on a subscription plan.

The ET7 plans to join the EC6, ES6, and ES8 out on the streets in Q1 2022, which leaves the company a full year to deliver on its promises.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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