Was it because of determination and optimism, or because it raised $300 million recently?

LISTEN 04:31

2020 certainly did not start well for any of us and Nio resonates with us. Chinese startup Nio, commonly referred to as the Chinese Tesla, has been through a roller coaster ride. This year, the company found itself on the verge of getting kicked into the history books due to a variety of reasons that include recalls, layoffs, and the pandemic, of course. However, the company has weathered the storm and finally started delivering the updated ES8 electric SUV. Does this mean good times have begun for Nio? Well, it’s too soon to say.

What is Different About the NIO ES8?

Nio Comes Rolling Through the Flames of Disaster with an Updated ES8 Electric SUV
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Nio has updated its flagship SUV for the Chinese market with a total of 180 improvements over its predecessor.

Until now, the ES8 was available only with 70-kWh and 84-kWh battery packs. This time around, the automaker has launched a 100-kWh battery pack which it claims is good to travel 360 miles on a single charge.

The battery pack powers the dual-motor setup that generates 534 pound-feet of torque. This enables the SUV to sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in 4.9 seconds. Stopping duties are now taken care of by Brembo brakes, which are deployed behind the 21-inch wheels and can stop the SUV from 62 mph in 111 feet.

Nio ES8 specifications
Powertrain High-efficiency PM motor + high-performance induction motor
Torque 534 LB-FT
0 to 62 mph 4.9 seconds
Range 360 Miles

On the inside, Nio has tweaked the design a bit and equipped a bigger touchscreen infotainment system. Driver assistance technology is also said to be improved.

Nio Comes Rolling Through the Flames of Disaster with an Updated ES8 Electric SUV
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Until March 31, 2020, Nio had delivered 20,675 examples of the ES8 in China. The ES8 is also the only Chinese model in the luxury SUV segment. The prices for the ES8 start from RMB 468,000, which is approximately $66,000. The SUV is available in six- and seven-seat configurations. There’s a Signature Edition that comes with Active Air Suspension and different package options to choose from. This model starts at RMB 558,000 (that’s $78,700 approximately) before subsidies.

The Nio ES6 Is A Strong Product And Sells Better Than The ES8

2019 Nio ES6 Exterior
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Currently, the company also has a midsize electric SUV known as the ES6. Nio had earlier claimed that the ES6 is the world’s first electric vehicle that uses a permanent magnet motor and an induction motor and is an efficient combination that saves costs while offering strong power.

Despite this, it sprints from naught to 62 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds before topping out at 124 miles per hour, which isn’t exactly mind-blowing. It is offered with 70-kWh and 84-kWh battery packs. The ES6 is available in three trims – Sporty, Performance, and Premier, priced at RMB 358,000 ($50,500), RMB 398,000 ($56,300), and RMB 498,000 ($70,300), respectively.

Nio’s Ongoing Roller Coaster Ride

Nio Comes Rolling Through the Flames of Disaster with an Updated ES8 Electric SUV
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In December last year, Nio announced that it doesn’t have sufficient funds to last one more year and the current sales volume didn’t help the cause either. In Jan 2020, Nio recorded a negative growth as sales dipped by over 11-percent, year-on-year. The COVID-19 effect will be seen in the other months of the first quarter as well. Since December, the company has raised around $300 million in funds, but that isn’t enough to sustain it for long.

Final Thoughts

Nio Comes Rolling Through the Flames of Disaster with an Updated ES8 Electric SUV
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The company voluntarily recalled 5,000 examples of the ES8 over heating and fire concerns. It even laid off 141 employees at its U.S. headquarters. However, the company still hopes to mark its presence in the States and Europe. Do you think Nio will be able to survive and sustain? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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