Earlier this year, we went to Shanghai to check out Nio's newest EV, the. At the time, we were impressed with its range and the fact that it has a swappable battery. But, of course, whether the car will sink or swim is up to the public, and now, it's time for Chinese buyers to take a crack at it.
Nio announced on Tuesday that the first ES6 electric crossovers have been delivered to their owners in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It's the automaker's second mass-production model, following the larger ES8, but the company also has the in its portfolio, which is impressive in its own right.
Considering everything the ES6 packs under its body, that price doesn't seem too bad at all. With five seats onboard, the ES6 is smaller and shorter than the ES8, but its wheelbase is the same. Buyers have a choice of two powertrains: A pair of electric motors putting out 430 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, or a beefier pair that puts out 536 hp and 535 lb-ft. Buyers can also choose between a 70-kilowatt-hour battery and an 84-kWh battery, the latter of which can reach up to 317 miles by NEDC estimates, which are usually higher than EPA estimates.
While Nio offers a concierge service that can take and charge your EV as necessary, the coolest part of the ES6's underpinnings is its swappable battery pack. It takes about five minutes to swap out a drained battery for a fully charged one. And since both batteries share the same dimensions and cooling systems, buyers can upgrade their car on the fly, upgrading the capacity with ease. If future batteries come out with even more range, buyers could then upgrade even further.
The car starts at 358,000 yuan (about $52,000) before EV subsidies are factored in. If you want the larger battery, the price rises to 408,000 yuan (about $59,000). Upgrading to the sportier powertrain incurs another price hike, as well, with lower-range models commanding 398,000 yuan (about $58,000) and higher-range variants topping out at 448,000 yuan (about $65,000). The company has signaled interest in coming to the US, but it is currently focused on the Chinese market and hasn't made any moves in this direction yet.