Nio is Tesla’s biggest competitor in the Chinese electric-vehicle market — here’s how its ES8 SUV compares with Tesla’s Model X

  • Nio is Tesla‘s primary domestic competition in China’s luxury electric-vehicle market.
  • Nio released its first vehicle, the ES8 SUV, in 2018.
  • The ES8 has a 220-mile range, up to seven seats, and a starting price of around $67,000.

China is the world’s largest electric vehicle market. In 2018, it was responsible for 56% of global electric vehicle sales with 1.2 million units sold.

In an effort to capture a greater percentage of that market, Tesla is building a factory in Shanghai, the first that will be wholly-owned by a foreign car company. For now, Tesla is shipping vehicles to Chinese customers from the United States.

Read more: The CEO of China’s largest electric-car company compares Tesla to high fashion – and says his company is the ‘girl next door’

Tesla’s primary domestic competition in China’s luxury electric-vehicle market is Nio, which released its first vehicle, the ES8 SUV, in 2018. The ES8 has a 220-mile range, up to seven seats, and a starting price of around $67,000.

Though it was first released in 2015, Tesla’s Model X SUV is the company’s closest competitor to the ES8.

Here’s how the two vehicles compare.


Range

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Tesla Model X.
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Tesla

The Nio ES8 has 220 miles of range, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), while the Model X has a maximum range of 295 miles, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NEDC estimates tend to be more generous than those from the EPA.


Acceleration

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Nio ES8.
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NIO

The Model X can accelerate from 0-60 mph in a minimum of 2.8 seconds, while the ES8 can do the same in around 4.4 seconds.


Capacity

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Tesla Model X.
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Tesla

Both the Model X and ES8 can seat up to seven people. The Model X also has five and six-seat configurations, while the ES8 has a six-seat configuration.


Aerodynamics

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Nio ES8.
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Nio

The ES8 has a drag coefficient of 0.29, while the Model X has a drag coefficient of 0.25. A lower drag coefficient indicates that a car is more aerodynamic.


Price

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Tesla Model X.
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Tesla

The Model X starts between $89,500 and $104,000 before incentives, while the ES8 starts between around $67,000 and $68,000 before incentives.


Availability

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Nio ES8.
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Nio

The ES8 is available only in China, while the Model X is available in the US, Europe, Canada, and the Asia-Pacific region.


Driver-assistance technology

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tesla owners can purchase Autopilot, a driver-assistance system that can handle acceleration, braking, and steering under some circumstances with driver supervision.

Nio has a driver-assistance system called Nio Pilot that will have similar capabilities the company plans to introduce this year through wireless updates.


Charging

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Nio ES8.
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Nio

Tesla has around 1,440 Supercharger stations designed specifically for Tesla vehicles. Nio provides owners with mobile charging and battery-swapping services.


Tech features

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Tesla Model X.
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Tesla

Drivers and passengers control most features in the Model X through a 17-inch touchscreen. Tesla also sends wireless updates to its vehicles that include new features and performance upgrades.

The ES8 has a 10.4-inch touchscreen, heads-up display, and voice-activated system called Nomi that can control settings like music and navigation.