The highly anticipated Chinese car brand NIO revealed the price for its first mass production electric SUV in Beijing on Sunday. At just over 400,000 yuan, about half the cost of a Tesla, the ES8 is pretty competitive and packed with technology.
NIO also rolled out its first in-car artificial intelligence system called Nomi, and its charging system called NIO Power, which also includes battery swap technology and mobile charging services.
Backed by China's top tech companies such as JD.com and Xiaomi, NIO is often referred to as the Chinese version of Tesla.
"China's auto industry is the world's largest. We have the market, we have the talent, and we have strong capabilities in automaking. Chinese car brands should be more confident about elevating their brands and offering competitive products to the world," said Li Bin, founder and chairman of NIO.
In fact, during the first 11 months this year, Chinese domestic car brands edged up in market share even though the country's auto market slowed to single-digit growth. Sales for new energy vehicles, however, saw a 50 percent jump from a year ago.
In addition to NIO, brands like BYD, Great Wall and Geely are also tapping into premium green energy vehicles.
"Domestic carmakers have great advantages in their innovative power. As in so many areas in China, the industry players in this field have the ability to leapfrog, to go beyond and offer services and infrastructure to people that maybe global OEMs haven't thought up yet," said Michael Adick, the managing director for Accenture Auto Industry in China.
NIO is not the only Chinese domestic carmaker with more premium products to rival overseas brands, as the popularity of Chinese car brands increases.