This 650-Mile EV Has a Cutting-Edge Battery That You Have To Rent
High-tech battery-as-a-service EVs are on the way.
Looks like automakers aren’t done with getting the most out of subscription models for their cars.
Nio teased a prototype version of its upcoming EV, the ET7, that’s powered by a unique battery. Instead of the lithium-ion batteries we’re used to, Nio is using a semi-solid state battery that could get at least 650 miles of range, as first reported by CarNewsChina. On top of that, the ET7’s battery is swappable, meaning you can replace the drained one with a fully charged one in a matter of minutes.
All of that comes with a serious cost, though. According to Nio, this battery pack would cost around the same price as its base model ET5, which starts at around $42,100. Instead of outright paying the cost of another EV just for a battery, Nio lets you rent out its batteries instead. Think of it like a subscription model but for the most crucial part of your EV.
COMFORTABLY HITTING 650 MILES
According to Nio, the ET7 uses a 150 kWh battery pack to achieve its ridiculous range. Nio proved this during a livestreamed road trip with the co-founder and CEO William Li, where the prototype reached 1,044 km, or around 650 miles, with three percent of charge to spare. That range estimate isn’t confirmed by any regulatory agencies yet, but anywhere close would have the ET7 beat out the current U.S. leader, the Lucid Air with its maximum 520-mile range.
There are some caveats to note with Nio’s road trip test. During the livestream, the ET7 was running on its autonomous driving system 92 percent of the time and the max speed was capped at 56 mph. That doesn’t replicate real-world driving scenarios exactly, but achieving that much range with some battery left is impressive.
SOLID-STATE BATTERIES ARE THE FUTURE
There’s still no word on how much the ET7 will cost to Chinese customers, but don’t forget to factor in the battery leasing costs. Nio will be holding its annual Nio Day later this week, but we don’t know if it plans to share more details on its upcoming ET7 or its high-tech battery. Nio did previously say that it would start production of the 150 kWh battery in April 2024, though.
Nio doesn’t currently sell any of its models in the U.S., but the CEO of the U.S. division Ganesh Iyer previously noted the EV maker’s plans to enter the market eventually. Even though there’s uncertainty around Nio’s U.S. entry, Toyota is also working on developing a solid-state battery design that could hit 932 miles on a single charge. Plus, there’s a better chance that Toyota is planning to bring this battery tech to U.S. customers.