NIO has just unveiled its new midsize electric sedan, the ET5, a sleek looking, tech-packed offering with an impressive claimed range and a pretty reasonable price. It will cost from just over $40,000 and the manufacturer says it can travel up to 1,000 km on a single charge, although this is not calculated on the fairly accurate WLTP test cycle.

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It’s not even calculated on the NEDC test cycle, but according to China’s own CLTC testing procedures. This range can only be achieved in vehicles equipped with the optional Ultralong Range battery, which has double the base pack’s capacity at 150 kWh; the 75 kWh base battery still has a CLTC claimed range of 550 km.

There’s also a 100 kWh Long Range pack available, the midrange option, and that has a claimed range of 700 km. NIO also gives potential owners the option to save on the upfront cost of buying the car by offering a ‘Batteries as a Service’ (Baas) battery swapping version that drops the vehicle’s price before subsidies from the equivalent of $51,500 to just over $40,000.

If you opt for Baas, it will incur a monthly charge of just over $150 for the 75 kWh pack or $232 for the 100 kWh pack. The largest battery doesn’t appear to be available as part of this program.

NIO says that the ET5 can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds, thanks to the 489 PS (480 horsepower) and 700 Nm (516 pound-feet) combined output delivered by its two electric motors. The vehicle also has a claimed perfect weight distribution, big brakes and a low drag coefficient of 0.24.

Its side windows are frameless and the interior features a very unique panoramic digital display called PanoCinema. It has augmented and virtual reality features built in and with a pair of special glasses, the driver can see the equivalent of a 201-inch screen projected 6 meters (20 feet) in front.

The ET5 is expected to go on sale in China early next year but it should also be made available in Europe (although only on some markets like Germany, Norway, The Netherlands) at some point later in 2022.

NIO have not expressed interest in entering the South African Electric Vehicle market yet.


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