Automotive

Nio ET5 promises colossal 620-mile range – but miles ain't miles

Nio ET5 promises colossal 620-...
The Nio ET5 promises up to 1,000 km range per charge
The Nio ET5 promises up to 1,000 km range per charge
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The Nio ET5 promises up to 1,000 km range per charge
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The Nio ET5 promises up to 1,000 km range per charge
The Nio ET5 will be in the hands of the first customers by September 2022
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The Nio ET5 will be in the hands of the first customers by September 2022
Sleek back end with a tiny spoiler hinting at its sporty performance
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Sleek back end with a tiny spoiler hinting at its sporty performance
Slash headlights and a smooth face
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Slash headlights and a smooth face
Panoramic sunroof and smooth fastback are a great look
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Panoramic sunroof and smooth fastback are a great look
Diffusers look kinda weird without exhausts, don't they?
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Diffusers look kinda weird without exhausts, don't they?
The ET5 has enough sensors and computers built in to handle autonomous driving when the software and regulations are ready
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The ET5 has enough sensors and computers built in to handle autonomous driving when the software and regulations are ready
Ambient mood lighting
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Ambient mood lighting
Neat and tidy cabin
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Neat and tidy cabin
That little pair of eyes on the dash is the face of the voice assistant
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That little pair of eyes on the dash is the face of the voice assistant
The ET5 (right) parked next to the Nio ET7
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The ET5 (right) parked next to the Nio ET7
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Chinese electric vehicle brand Nio has debuted a new mid-size family sedan with a battery option for all-day driving. The ET5 can be specified with an "ultra long range" pack that delivers up to 1,000 km of driving – although all might not be as it seems.

The ET5 will be a sprightly drive, with peaks of 360 kW (483 horsepower) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) through a two-motor AWD system. It'll hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds from a standing start, which will handily see off most combustion cars at the lights.

It's got a tidy cabin, a nice big 12.8-inch touchscreen, a 7.1.4 surround sound system, mood lighting, a panoramic sunroof extending into a sweet fastback and a generally classy, understated sort of look about it. It's got a voice assistant called Nomi, which is "now smarter and funnier" – I wish I could say the same about myself. You can bring along a set of goggles or glasses, and it'll treat you to an "immersive AR/VR panoramic in-car experience," if you're into that sort of thing.

Panoramic sunroof and smooth fastback are a great look
Panoramic sunroof and smooth fastback are a great look

It aspires to autonomy, and while Nio doesn't make it abundantly clear exactly what it'll be capable of doing for itself when it hits buyers' garages in September 2022, it's got enough "Nio Aquila Super Sensing" and "Nio Adam Super Computing" to do the job when software and regulations allow. Nio will switch on the "Nio Autonomous Driving," or NAD, system in stages as a subscription service. So customers are going to have to rent their own NADs; truly we are living in the future.

So far, so electric car. The ET5's banner feature, though, is its battery pack. Not the standard 75-kWh one, mind you, or the 100-kWh long range pack. The killer here is a 150-kWh "ultra long range" battery pack that Nio says enables a range "over 1,000 km" (620 miles).

That's the biggest range claim we've seen yet on a consumer EV, walking all over the impressive 520-mile EPA range that the Lucid Air Dream Edition Range pulls from its 118-kWh battery pack, verified earlier this year.

That little pair of eyes on the dash is the face of the voice assistant
That little pair of eyes on the dash is the face of the voice assistant

But range figures ain't range figures. Nio's 1,000 km is claimed on the Chinese CLTC standard, rather than the WLTP standard generally used in Europe and the USA. The CLTC test is designed to reflect typical Chinese driving conditions, and as such it's a very different looking test. Where the WLTP test averages 46.42 km/h, the CLTC averages 28.96 km/h. Where WLTP maxes out at 131.3 km/h, CLTC maxes out at 114 km/h. Where the WLTP test uses an average acceleration of 0.53 m/s/s, the CLTC test averages 0.45 m/s/s.

Essentially, the CLTC figures reflect a more urban, start-stop style of driving, where the WLTP figures challenge electric cars with higher speeds, harder acceleration and less time spent idling. That's not to say the ET5 won't outlast the Lucid Air on the highway; indeed, if it used its energy as efficiently as the Air, that huge battery should get about 660 miles (1,062 km) on the same EPA test. It's just to say that the two range figures are apples and oranges.

Nio will launch the car in China first, starting at 328,000 RMB (US$51,500), and the company is looking to expand its network outside China to cover 25 countries worldwide by 2025.

Source: Nio

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13 comments
13 comments
Daishi
Nio is growing at 137%/year and XPeng and BYD which are smaller but grew between 200% and 300% year over year depending on the quarter you look at. I'm sure they will all be much bigger by 2025.
Tommo
That looks a LOT like a Tesla....
Douglas E Knapp
Good luck getting enough batteries. The bigger the battery the less cars you can produce. All makers are battery constrained at this point. On top of that the average Tesla user, uses the fast charger 3 TIMES a year, all the rest is home charging. The average distance traveled is about 35 miles (or 57 km). I would rather see the same car with a range of 100 km and a MUCH cheaper price! Only a travelling sales person or the like needs a 1000 km range.
Daishi
@Douglas China is dominating lithium-ion manufacturing and things like rare earth elements. As the market shifts from things like combustion motors and hybrids that traditional auto companies have thousands of patents on to being battery/electronics supply constrained Chinese auto companies will go from a disadvantage in the market to an advantage.
Seasherm
Dang, I wonder where they stuffed all of those batteries. Car seems nice. Like Douglas said, the is a competition for who can build the most batteries, and if possible the best batteries. You can't ship a car without one. I see VW and GM taking this seriously and building their own factories. Any company that plans to buy batteries for their cars will be pretty much toast before long, unless they are happy as a boutique producer. Now, some of those boutique producers could make just the car I want, so I'm also very glad to see innovation like this.
bwana4swahili
Anything with a range over 600 miles in an electric vehicle gets my interest. Keep that range increasing!!
WB
reminds me of the chinese mAh battery claims... for AA batteries...
Trylon
Sorry, but I stopped reading when I got the paragraph giving CLTC vs WLTP figures. You convert to Imperial units elsewhere in the article but decided to skip it here, making the paragraph essentially meaningless to American readers. I'm not reading any article that forces me to do a lot of conversions.
Hopeful
What Douglas E Knapp said. Plus fast charging capability. Most drivers don't need that kind of range nor do they benefit from driving around all the expensive and scarce extra dead weight of an oversized battery.
windykites
Remember the huge top speeds ICEs could achieve? The only place you could do that was on a race track or Germany.
Most people won't need this range.
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