NIO a private automaker company based in China, founded in 2014, has launched a punch to the gut for Tesla with their unbeatable EP9. Released from its shackles, the NIO EP9 is an electric supercar born to push limits. Where it’s recorded as the fastest electric car in the world, with running a time of 6 minutes and 45 seconds at the Nürburgring Race Track. A racetrack where all the major automakers go to compete and attempt to be the true speed kings and track record holders have now all been gobsmacked by the unbelievable time set by the EP9. Regarded as one of the fastest electric supercars in the world, with Tesla retaliating with its announced launch of the almighty Roadster that is set to defeat any electric and petrol powered supercars in the world.
A company specifically launched in designing and developing high-performance electric sports cars, with a drive for creating the ultimate speed machines. Though this isn’t some cheap Chinese knock-off from the Tesla brand, oh no no no… NIO is involved in the FIA Formula E Championship. Regarded as the world’s first single-seater, all-electric racing series. This is a vehicle manufacturer whose heritage is based on racing, reliability and success. Recently new to the consumer market in the mass production of electric vehicles, but definitely a direct threat to Tesla.
The EP9, however, is a technical and an engineering masterpiece, with the company already having a background in Formula E. This gives them an edge over the competition, relatively new to the automotive world and the consumer market. Their technical knowledge and advanced research and development already have its competition pegged, as NIO is a company that knows what it is doing. They know what to develop and most crucially they know what to deliver, with what is to be expected of them. This has already been well established with the EP9, where each wheel on the vehicle is attached to its own motor and transmission. Where each motor produces over 335 brake horsepower (bhp) developing a total power output of 1341 bhp and an astonishing 4671 lb-ft of torque. In perspective, the world-renowned Porsche 918 hybrid hypercar develops a staggering 887 bhp and 940 lb-ft of torque, though not as mind-blowing as the EP9.
The electric motor technology implemented within the EP9 is futuristic in design and as advanced as the materials used and the technology that went into developing it, the maximum range of the batteries are a low 265 miles. Where recharging does take a lengthy 45 minutes, or if you really want to, the whole battery replacement takes less than 8 minutes. The batteries themselves weigh a decent 635 kilos, where the shell of the vehicle, entirely composed out of carbon-fibre, weighs only 364 kilos. With a combined kerb weight of 1,735 in combination with all the materials used in developing the EP9.
It’s well established that a lot of the upcoming EV supercars and consumer models have their bullseyes set on Tesla. Though the Tesla Roadster, set to launch in 2020, will be the EP9’s direct contender for the fight of King of the Hill. Two EV supercars that will go head to head to see which one shall dominate the speed world of not only the electric car market but the entire automobile market. A brawling David versus Goliath battle will entail, as the Roadster will accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 1.9 seconds, a 620-mile range and a 250-mph top speed. Compared to the NIO EP9’s 2.7 seconds to 0-60 mph, and only achieving a top speed of 194 mph. Though as stated by Mircea Dinca that most innovations that are introduced into consumer cars were first used in the world of racing, and Formula E technology has been transferred into the EP9. Where obvious exterior features such as the rear wing with a three-point adjustable setting, means that the car produces around 2,447 kilograms (5,395 lbs) of downforce. Similar to Formula 1 and Formula E cars, which means the EP9 can corner at over 3 Gs. Which was also the car’s secret weapon in achieving such an astonishingly unbeatable lap record time, along with technologically advanced active suspension which incorporates ride height control and brakes constructed by NextEV.
A car such as the NIO EP9 the world has yet not seen, as amazing as the Porsche Mission E and the Tesla Roadster are. The advanced technology that went into the development of the EP9, for not only just the battery technology but technology that is implemented into the car entirely. Has now set a new stone in motion, one that’ll hopefully encourage other automakers to follow. Which is to not just focus on the development of battery technology, but to also focus on the future development of the automobile. To bring science fiction into reality, to bring the tech that has been used in the world of racing, Formula 1, Formula E and incorporating it into everyday road cars.
The NIO EP9 took a concept that has been around for decades, full of flaws, Tesla took that technology refined it, revolutionised it and most crucially made it practical. Though NIO, with their tremendous background in Formula E, has showcased to the world what the future of electric cars will look like. The cars won’t just be more reliable, faster, and quicker around corners. They’ll be something that one won’t just admire but would want to actually own and show off to the world.
The EP9 may be a track only, mid-engine two seaters electric supercar. But with a formula for developing high-performance electric racing cars and supercars, plans are already underway in launching the NIO ES8, an electric SUV set to launch in 2018 in China and the NIO EVE. An autonomous electric car that can also be manually driven, where production will go underway in 2020.
Much like Tesla NIO has got great potential and so far, they’re on the right path to making a worldwide name for themselves. The question now is whether Tesla can keep up, or whether NIO will be the underdog that takes over the big league and will it set in motion a new technological phenomenon in the EV market?