EV price crash as Nio launches the Onvo L60 SUV

  • Nio launched the Onvo L60 SUV, a lower-priced brand, starting at 219,900 yuan.
  • The launch coincides with Biden’s plan to quadruple import taxes on Chinese EVs, challenging Nio’s global expansion.
  • Despite industry challenges, Nio will introduce new Onvo models annually and leverage its extensive charging network.

Nio launches a lower-cost brand, Onvo, with the L60 SUV

Chinese EV maker Nio has unveiled the Onvo L60 SUV, the first car from its new lower-priced brand. Priced at 219,900 yuan ($30,465, £23,990), the Onvo L60 is 12% cheaper than Tesla’s Model Y, which retails for 249,900 yuan in China.

At the unveiling event in Shanghai, Nio CEO William Li highlighted the company’s ambition to compete with Tesla’s Model Y and Toyota’s RAV4. 

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William Li commented: 

“RAV4 and Model Y were the benchmark for family cars in their time. With technologies evolving and people’s understanding of smart EVs deepening, today it’s time for us to redefine the new standards for family cars.” 

Nio has already begun accepting orders for the Onvo L60, with deliveries expected to start by September. The company plans to introduce a new Onvo model annually, targeting the family car market. 

The Onvo L60 boasts several advanced technical features. It is equipped with Nio’s self-developed 900-volt fast-charging system. That promises substantially faster charging times than standard systems. The L60 has an average energy consumption of 12.1 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 kilometres. 

Onvo L60 owners will benefit from Nio’s extensive infrastructure. That includes access to over 1,000 battery-swapping stations and 25,000 public chargers. 

Cost efficiency is a significant focus for the Onvo brand. 

Nio has reduced the bill of materials for the Onvo cars by 10% compared to Tesla’s Model Y. This cost reduction is partly due to sourcing batteries from BYD instead of producing them in-house. Additionally, Nio’s EV battery rental program allows it to offer competitive prices.

This launch comes during a week of significant developments. U.S. President Joe Biden recently announced a plan to quadruple import taxes on electric cars from China. This new policy poses a considerable challenge for Chinese EV makers like Nio as they strive to expand their global footprint.

This new brand could also help Nio extend its reach beyond China. However, it faces a 100% tariff in the U.S. and an ongoing anti-subsidy probe by the European Union into EV imports from China.

Imported cars from China have been increasingly demonised in the press. Heavier subsidies from the Chinese government and extensive native supply chains help these manufacturers drive costs down. Realistically, the globalisation of these brands is allowing more and more affordable models onto the scene.

Ade Thomas, Founder of Green.TV Media and the EV SUMMIT, commented:

“Let’s move away from a divisive narrative around I.C.E versus EV and China versus the West, and towards a more positive narrative of the democratised decarbonisation of mobility with cost aligned to climate.”

Nio’s launch of the Onvo L60 marks a bold move in the competitive EV market. With its lower price, advanced features, and extensive infrastructure, the Onvo brand is poised to make a significant impact. With Tesla’s market dominance under constant scrutiny, moves like these to undercut their successful models seem destined to get results. 

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