CHENGDU, China/SHANGHAI — Chinese EV maker Nio Inc. on Saturday launched its first sedan model, eyeing a greater share of the world’s largest car market.
The launch of the ET7, at an event in China’s western city of Chengdu, comes as rival Tesla started selling its China-made Model Y crossover.
Nio is aiming to expand its product lineup to attract more customers. In China’s passenger car market, sedans and utility vehicles separately make up around 46 percent of the overall sales.
CEO William Li said Nio’s new battery technology will give the ET7 a driving range of more than 621 miles between charges.
The starting price will be 378,000 yuan ($58,378) for the car without the battery pack, one of the most expensive EV components, which can then be leased from the company. With the battery pack, the starting price is 448,000 yuan ($69,185).
Li said the ET7 will be fitted with lidar sensors — which help the car perceive its surroundings, and are often found in autonomous cars — to assist drivers, a technology dismissed by Tesla Inc.’s outspoken CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla, which is selling Shanghai-made Model 3 sedans, has just started selling its Model Y vehicles at a starting price of 339,900 yuan ($52,490). It uses cameras for driver assistance.
Nio, which delivered 43,728 vehicles last year, has a market capitalization of over $92 billion, surpassing conventional automakers Daimler and General Motors as investors pour billions of dollar in pursuit of electric future.
It is currently selling three utility vehicles built at car factory in China’s eastern city of Hefei.