Four-year-old Chinese electric vehicle start-up NIO, which has been in partnership with Tata Technologies since 2015, has started deliveries of its first electric, all-aluminium, seven-seater SUV, the ES8.
Claimed to be a high-performance SUV, the ES8 has been developed exclusively for the Chinese market. It comes with an onboard NIO pilot system, an advanced autonomous driving assistant system, and a claimed first-in-car AI system nicknamed ‘NOMI’.
The company claims the vehicle equipped with E-AWD can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.4sec, has the latest-generation of active air suspension, and a braking distance of 33.8m, deaccelerating from 100kph to zero kph.
In an exclusive interview with our sister publication Autocar Professional, Warren Harris, managing director and CEO, Tata Technologies, said: “The association between Tata Technologies and NIO was initiated in mid-2015, very close to NIO’s inception as an ambitious next-gen EV start-up. Since then, Tata Technologies has engaged with NIO to drive major engineering aspects related to the development of the ES8, such as body structures, closures and exteriors, advanced manufacturing engineering, PLM, and off-car connectivity.”
“Tata Technologies was able to pool in experts and teams from China, India, UK and Romania to work together with the NIO engineering team to deliver the final product which adhered to the highest standards in safety and finesse.”
“The first finished product – the ES8 – is an all-aluminium SUV that broke lightweight index benchmarks and was delivered in record time from a blank page to a validation vehicle in world-class duration.”
“With the goal of creating a product-development process that would establish an industry benchmark, NIO and Tata Technologies have worked on a range of concepts on weight optimisation using advanced materials. The team has worked on creating a process that would pioneer the way for more advanced material-based vehicles in China. The result of implementing such expertise is that the ES8 is currently achieving body weight efficiency targets better than the EuroCarBody Conference best,” added Harris.