Nio ET7: lightning fast Chinese and unheard of spaciousness in the back

That’s how it goes today. You pull out the wallet, hire a bunch of Harvard hipsters for the software, get top designers bought from big companies to draw some kind of Tesla, print on the 3D printer and build a car. The Nio brand was conceived in 2012 by Chinese billionaire William Li on a balcony. He saw smog lingering, thought of his progeny, and had a vision of clear skies under blue skies, rigged up for the Revelation of the Nio marketers. Now Nio is a real brand with a whole range of electric cars and a philosophical logo, the center line of which symbolizes a New Horizon. It reminded me of Kenny, the helmeted, murdered soul-pie in the cartoon series. South Park. But it’s already banned in China, so no dog sees it.

What has so far presented itself for Chinese brands in the Netherlands has been meritorious but colorless. Nio’s giant ET7, with the smaller ET5 and the inevitable SUV the first Nio to reach this country, stands head and shoulders above the rest. The design is clean and irritation-proof, without forced help and decorative lines. The dashboard, with its ‘floating’ displays and ventilation grilles cleverly hidden behind a raised edge, is elegantly covered in durable rattan. The ET7 is lightning fast, the interior is well laid out and the rear is incredibly spacious. The excellent chairs have the seal of approval of the German Medical Club Action Gesunder Rücken. Certainly for a beginner it is a fantastic looking car.

men’s romance

Nio calls ET7 a mobile living space. It illustrates how new generations of car builders look at the car. They see it as a mobile seating area that takes you comfortably, quietly and efficiently from A to B. The driving sensation is almost secondary, the male romance as good as dead. EV 3.0 will be one user platform for the high technology that finds the Nio millennial thrown out by roaring engines the icing on the cake. The super-fast software comes from Nvidia, the bumps above the windshield are the lookouts from Lidar, a radar system that scans the surroundings with laser pulses and previously unimaginable precision, an indispensable link in the development towards autonomous driving. Then meet Nomi, the voice-activated assistant for all the functions you used to have buttons for. She sits disguised as a pearl with eyes on top of the dashboard and sounds like a girl, which may make after-school riders uncomfortable Lolita associations. Address her with “Hey Nomi!” and she answers all questions that are not about sex, Hegel or the political situation in China. On a turntable, she points her drawn face at the questioner. She does this just as well as opening the windows on request or adjusting the interior temperature. She is the child prodigy who, after a year of piano lessons, has perfect but lifeless Beethovens Passionate player. You blow the trumpet, but scream it out.

Nio’s solution to the charging and range problem is not new: replacing the battery in a swap station. When the Israeli company Better Place launched that concept fifteen years ago, it was impossibly ahead of its time. No dog drove electric, and the Renaults that Better Place used lacked any appeal. Meanwhile, a switch network for frequent drivers could be an interesting addition to the charging infrastructure: within five minutes with a full battery and, according to Nio, a range of up to 580 kilometers on the road again. The brand has already installed 1,100 stations in China. If Holland embraces the Nio adventure, they will come here too.

The exchange station looks like a car wash. The car reverses independently. Under the floor, the huge battery pack has been replaced with civilized noise and light swell. You can stay put, it just happened. Brilliant.

The ET7 comes with batteries of 75, 100 and later 150 kWh, a provisional new record. According to Nio, the ET7 with the maximum battery capacity should reach more than a thousand kilometers on a single charge. Quite possible. In the test car, I already saw the consumption regularly drop to 13 kWh per 100 kilometers. You only saw such values ​​at Tesla in this class. That’s what the price is for. A flexible subscription – Nio does not yet sell here – costs between 1,300 and 1,500 euros per month. Does he catch it? That partly depends on Xi. If it really decides to annex Taiwan, the Chinese car manufacturers in Europe will be toasting all the logistical consequences that this entails. You get the Sword of Damocles for free.

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