Nio, the electric vehicle startup from China launched its first mass-manufactured model on December 17. The company would compete with leading electric car manufacturing companies such as Tesla in the Chinese market.
The ES8, which costs nearly 448,000 Chinese yuan ($67,765) is half of the cost of Tesla’s Model X, which is 836,000 yuan ($126,470) in China. Moreover, it has advantage of state subsidies of Beijing, given for electric cars.
William Li, Founder and Chairman of Nio outlined that it is difficult to determine how the launch will affect Tesla’s sales in China.
He told CNBC over the weekend, “Maybe Tesla will sell less … after our product is out. Or probably, because the whole market is growing, they will still maintain growth in sales. It’s hard to say.”
At the launch event, Li clarified that its company has a lot of customers who opted for its cars over Tesla. In addition, there are people who bought cars from both companies.
Li believes Tesla is its rival and consumers would between them in the Chinese market. He added, “But I wouldn’t say we are the Chinese Tesla, or they are the American Nio.”
The intense competition to gain major share in the electric vehicle industry in China is backed by Beijing, which is taking necessary precautions and regulations to control air pollution in the country. Beijing also offers subsidies and state investment in the industry, including development a battery charging network.
Nio would develop over 1,100 “Power Swap” charging stations across the country and launch more than 1,200 “Power Mobile” cars by 2020.
Li outlined the company plans to enter IPO, but no deadline is set for it.