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Nio ET5 to take on Tesla’s Model 3

Chinese electric car maker Nio prepares mid-size EV with 1000km range

22 Dec 2021

NIO has taken the wraps off its ET5 four-door sedan in Suzhou this week. The mid-size battery electric vehicle will go on sale as a rival to the Telsa Model 3 within the next 12 months. 


The ET5 is said to offer over 550km of driving range when fitted with the 75-kWh Standard Range battery, more than 700km when optioned with the 100-kWh Long Range battery, and in excess of 1000km when the 150kWh Ultralong Range battery is fitted. All range figures are measured against China’s CLTC testing protocols.


Nio quotes a 0-100km/h time of just 4.3 seconds for its sporty sedan and offers a performance braking system, which its maker says can haul the ET5 from 100km/h to zero in just 33.9 metres.


The model rides on a five-link independent suspension all round and offers as many as eight different driving modes. 


The Chinese manufacturer currently offers a range of SUVs including the EC6, ES6 and ES8, as well as a Model S rival dubbed the ET7. It also offers an extravagant hypercar known as the EP9.


Nio sells its products in China and Norway at the moment, but the company says it has plans to export to more than 25 countries before 2025. It has already secured exports to Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden; although it’s still unclear whether right-hand drive markets will form part of that plan, it’s possible that Australia could be one of the countries . 


The ¥328,000 (A$72,300) Nio ET5 features streamlined styling (contributing to a drag coefficient of 0.24Cd) with slim lighting elements front and rear, frameless windows, a lift-back style tailgate, flush-mounted door handles, Alfa Romeo-esque alloy wheels and what appears to be a rear-facing camera integrated into the front fenders. 


The ET5 offers semi-autonomous driving technologies similar to those offered in the Hyundai IONIQ5, Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3.


Inside, the minimalist cabin features an almost bare dashboard with a large 10.2-inch portrait-orientated infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster. The air vents are concealed from view while a simple rocker switch replaces the traditional transmission lever. 


Nio says it uses sustainable materials and upholstery within the ET5’s cabin and that entry and exit is keyless with “soft close” doors.


Nio also promises to take in-car entertainment to the next level, adding a panoramic digital screen that uses augmented reality technology and special glasses to offer passengers the equivalent of a 201-inch viewing screen, as well as Dolby Atmos surround sound system. 


Nio says its ET5 is engineered to achieve a five-star crash rating under C-NCAP and EuroNCAP protocols.


Speaking at the model’s unveiling, Nio founder, CEO and chairman William Li said he was positive that his brand would continue to grow its success in the years ahead.


“The year of 2021 is full of challenges. With a positive and optimistic attitude and outlook, Nio has grown together with its users,” Mr Li said.


“In 2022, we will continue to double down on product and technology development, accelerate the deployment of our service network, and enter more markets globally. We are confident about the road ahead.”

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