NIO’s Future in Doubt Over Next Gen Model

Chinese BEV carmaker NIO’s future looks precarious as it continues to be secretive about the technology it will use on its fourth model while cancelling plans to build its own manufacturing facility.

The NIO Platform 2.0 (NP2) is currently under development in Shanghai and is expected to bring new motor technology to its line up in the shape of a next generation sedan, as well as autonomous functions up to Level 4. However, since the brand has no manufacturing facilities of its own, it has to rely on a partnership with JAC, which builds the cars in its facility in Hefei. Yet the NP2 platform cannot be manufactured at this plant and will require NIO to have its own factory – a plan it had to shelve earlier this year. A NIO spokesman told TU-Automotive that the company is “considering opportunities for establishing our own manufacturing facilities”.

Its two current SUVs use dual motors capable of producing up to 480kW in power in an all-wheel drive system. It’s unclear how NP2 would differ in this respect, or even if it would. The ES6 is capable of 316 miles on one charge, with an 84kWh battery, while the high-performance ES8 is capable of 220km with its 70kWh battery. Both battery packs are liquid cooled to enhance performance and range. Its battery cells and modules are produced by Chinese battery company CATL, which also supplies battery technology to Volkswagen, PSA Group, Hyundai and BMW.

NIO added that “we have plans to launch our third model in 2020, based on the current platform, before the ET series moves onto NP2”. The company previewed the upcoming ET Series at the Shanghai Auto Show in April but then delayed the release indefinitely in May.

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