NIO ET7 Heads Closer to Mass Production With Tooling Trial Prototypes

The NIO ET7 will arrive in Norway in 2022, but the Chinese company did not specify which month. For its sales in Germany, the company at least mentioned that it will happen by the end of next year. If people are waiting for the electric sedan abroad, Chinese customers are also anxious. NIO has good news for them: the first tooling trial prototypes have already rolled out of its Advanced Manufacturing Base production lines.
NIO ET7's first tooling trial units roll off assembly lines 19 photos
Photo: NIO
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Despite all these prototypes be, there are still some steps toward mass production. The next one will be manufacturing pre-production units that will confirm if the vehicles have the right quality to be delivered to their buyers. To make things easier to understand, the tooling trial tests if the factory is ready for production. Meanwhile, pre-production verifies if the product already achieved the desired standards.

According to CNEVPost, the ET7 is the NIO with the most pre-orders so far. When deliveries start, the Chinese company expects to sell 50,000 units in 2022. We are unsure if series production will begin by the end of 2021 or at the beginning of 2022, which could affect sales estimates. However, it was pretty clear that the sedan would sell well in a country that still loves them as much as China does.

The ET7 will start at RMB526,000 ($81,772.70 at the current exchange rate). With government incentives, the price drops to RMB448,000 ($69,391). Those prices are only valid if you want to buy the EV with a battery pack. As you are probably aware, NIO can sell you only the vehicle and allow you to use the swappable battery pack for a monthly fee.

Called BaaS (battery as a service), it makes you pay from RMB980 ($151) for the 70-kWh battery pack up to RMB1,480 ($229) per month for the 100-kWh unit. Without this component, the ET7 starts at RMB378,000 ($58,548.80) before incentives. If you could buy it in the U.S. for the same prices, you’d save $23,223.90 only with that decision. You'd also protect yourself against failing battery packs: if one goes bad, it is NIO's problem, not yours. You'd just have to swap it.

Considering you can replace the battery packs whenever they run low, subscribing to a larger unit would only make sense if you drove more than 615 kilometers (382 miles) per day. That’s what the 100-kWh battery pack offers for the EC6 in the NEDC cycle.

As a sedan, the ET7 should run a lot more due to less aerodynamic drag. For all other cases, getting the 70-kWh battery pack and swapping it in 3 to 6 minutes when the car needs more electrons seems the best option. In 2022, customers in Norway and Germany will have access to it. Other European customers will urge NIO to plan for a more aggressive expansion.
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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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