A few weeks ago, NextEV unveiled its 1,342 horsepower NIO EP9 supercar that set the record for fastest lap by an electric car at the Nurburgring. “The idea wasn’t practicality but to bust records and look fantastic,” says David Hilton, the company’s senior director of design. The EP9 has a top speed of 194 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. That makes it the fastest and quickest electric car in the world, according to the company.
Now NextEV co-founder Jack Cheng says it will build an all electric SUV to challenge the Tesla Model X. It will have a 70 kWh battery for a range of 330 as measured by the European test cycle, Cheng said. He described the performance as being “as good as or better than the Tesla [Model X] but cheaper. It will be positioned at Audi and BMW but with a Toyota price,” Cheng told the press. U.S sales are scheduled to begin in late 2018 or early 2019.
The idea for NextEV originally came from William Li who made his fortune partly through an online portal providing up-to-date prices to car dealers in China. He plans to make a success of NIO by providing excellent customer service, something he said Tesla has failed to do in China. “I have a Tesla. It me took three months to install a charger at home,” he told journalists at the London launch. The SUV will be built in China in partnership with Chinese automaker JAC Motors.
The NIO brand is supposed to represent a new day, the company says. Translated into Chinese, NIO means Blue Sky Coming, as in an atmosphere that is not polluted with carbon emission from burning fossil fuels. Co-founder Li says he started the company so his children would have clean air to breath. That sounds a lot like another electric car pioneer known worldwide by the name of Elon Musk.
Elon says he welcomes competition and genuinely wants other companies to make “compelling” electric cars. Will the NextEV SUV be compelling? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.
Source: Automotive News