Nio ET5: Chinese rival for Tesla Model 3


Chinese EV manufacturer Nio unveils an important model today on ‘Nio Day’: the ET5. With this model, Nio wants to take a hit against the Tesla Model 3 and the upcoming BMW i3. In any case, the specifications of the ET5 are promising on paper.

Nio is growing like a weed. In China, the manufacturer of higher-end EVs is already an established name and also the brand is now gaining a foothold in Europe. At the moment, Nio is only active on our continent in Norway with the ES8, a large SUV with a starting price of €67,000. In 2022 Nio will come to Germany and Denmark, after which the Chinese wants to be active in more than 25 countries worldwide by 2025. The Netherlands was not yet mentioned in the presentation.

The ET7, a competitor for cars such as the Tesla Model S and Audi e-tron GT, will also be launched next year. Deliveries of the large sedan will start on March 20. In addition, Nio is committed to ‘Battery as a Service’ with its battery exchange stations. In total, Nio owners have already executed 5.5 million bills there. This year Nio built a total of 733 exchange stations. The bar is set high, because by 2025 4,000 of these should have been built from the ground. The brand also has its own ‘superchargers’: there are now a total of 6,484 Nio charging points in China.

Sporty nature

The most important news of ‘Nio Day’, however, is the arrival of the ET5, the brother of the ET7. The model measures 4790 mm in length, is 1499 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2888 mm. The ET5 is clearly related to the ET7 and is even more focused on sportiness than its big brother. At the front, the headlamps are split into two parts, with narrow LED strips as taillights and the headlamps themselves integrated into the front bumper. Furthermore, the ET5 has a pronounced front spoiler that clearly protrudes further than is the case with the ET7. At the rear, one light bar over the entire width of the car forms the taillight. Nio calls the LED bar ‘illumiBlade’. Furthermore, under the rear bumper is a diffuser to further emphasize the sporty character.



As with the Tesla Model 3, the ET5 also has a large glass panoramic roof. The sedan can be ordered in no fewer than 9 exterior colours, of which the examples shown are painted in ‘Sunbathe Yellow’ and ‘Airspace Blue’. According to Nio, all exterior colors are inspired by colors of the sky.

700 kilometers range

For the time being, Nio only shows one powertrain for the ET5. That’s not childish at all. The sedan has an electric motor with a power of 150 kW on the front axle and a 210 kW unit on the rear axle. This means that the ET5 has four-wheel drive, dubbed ‘Smart AWD’ by Nio. Together, the two electric motors deliver a system output of 360 kW (480 hp) and 700 Nm of torque. With that power, the ET5 zooms to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, one second slower than the Tesla Model 3 Performance. The ET5 also has a 50/50 weight distribution, according to Nio. Everything shows that the ET5 is aimed at the sporty rider. The braking system has also been specially developed for the ET5 and has four pistons on each caliper. This means that the ET5 can stand still in 33.9 meters from 100 km/h if desired. With eight different driving modes, the EV should offer something for everyone.



Fortunately, the driving pleasure does not have to be short-lived. The basic battery for the ET5 has a capacity of 75 kWh, which means that the sedan will only be without power after ‘more than 550 kilometers’, according to Nio. With larger battery packs of 100 kWh and even 150 kWh, the range, according to Nio, is even more than 700 or 1,000 kilometers respectively. However, that possible top version with 150 kWh is not yet included in the price list.

In addition, Nio is further focusing on autonomous driving with the ET5. For this, the sedan has two systems with the collective names Nio Aquila Super Sensing and Nio Adam super computing. The ET5 has a total of 33 sensors on board, including a whole battery of cameras and a lidar sensor. The computer then processes all that data with a computing power of 1,016 TOPS. However, the ET5 cannot yet drive completely independently.

Colorful interior

The interior of the ET5 does resemble the interior of the Model 3 when it comes to how sleek and tidy the whole is designed. For example, the ventilation grilles and the speakers are concealed almost invisibly. It is immediately noticeable that the Nio ET5 has an extra display right in front of the driver. The central touchscreen is vertical and has a size of 12.8 inches. On top of the dashboard is Nomi, Nio’s virtual assistant who will happily stare at you throughout the ride. The interior can be ordered in six different themes. Entirely in line with the current trend, the interior of the ET5 is made of sustainable materials.



Furthermore, many things are standard on the ET5. Nio does not clearly show which items you still have to pay for, but it cannot be very much. For example, all multimedia systems, soft-close doors and keyless entry are already standard. Extensive mood lighting, dubbed ‘PanoCinema’ by Nio, is always included. There is also good news for music lovers, because the ET5 has an audio system with 23 speakers and a power of 1,000 Watts.



In addition, Nio also supplies the ET5 with Augmented Reality glasses, although it is not yet clear whether you have to pay extra for this. According to Nio, the glasses mean that fewer displays are needed in the car, but the brand does not show the precise functions in the presentation. The brand also comes with Virtual Reality glasses for the ET5, but that is intended for when the car is parked. Nio says that he is still developing apps that allow you to take pictures while on the road with the car’s cameras.

Chinese prices

The ET5 will be launched in September 2022. It is not yet clear whether the model will immediately come to Europe, because for the time being Nio only mentions the Chinese prices. The basic version of the ET5 with the 75 kWh battery pack costs €45,776 in China. For comparison: the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range costs €49,980 in the Netherlands. With the 100 kWh battery pack, the price of the ET5 comes out at €53,871. Do you order the ET5 with Battery as a Service? Then you only have to tap off €36,007, but you pay €136 per month for the 75 kWh battery pack or €206 for 100 kWh. The brand is not yet talking about the 150 kWh battery pack. Furthermore, Nio provides a 10-year warranty on the ET5 in China.

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