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Another day, another electric vehicle from another startup carmaker in China enters the fray.

The Chinese company Nio has now officially launched its first vehicle for the masses—an all-electric 480-kilowatt (644-horsepower) SUV to take on Tesla’s Model X at just over half the price.

The new model, called ES8, has a starting price of 448,000 RMB ($68,000) before incentives, undercutting the Tesla Model X—which is not eligible for incentives in China—by 388,000 RMB ($59,000 USD).

DON’T MISS: Chinese electric-car startup Nio gets $1 billion in funding: report

Nio claims the ES8 has a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) when driven at a steady 60 km/h (37 mph) and achieves an NEDC range of 355 km (220 miles).

The ES8’s two motors are capable of rocketing the SUV to 62 mph in about 4.4 seconds, the automaker says.

The SUV doesn’t seem to skimp on features either, as Nio has engaged MobilEye to supply an autonomous-driving solution called Nio Pilot for its first SUV model.

Nio ES8 high-performance electric SUV

Nio Pilot, incidentally, is the same system MobilEye was developing for Tesla before their partnership fractured in 2016, reports The Verge.

In addition to autonomous-driving capabilities, the seven-seat ES8 comes with other luxury-level features.

Those include leather seating, heads-up display, air suspension, advanced safety features, and Nomi—a system Nio calls the world’s first in-car AI.

READ MORE: Nio electric SUV, from Chinese NextEV, to have ‘Toyota cost’ and ‘Tesla range’

In a release from the automaker, Nomi “gives users a friend on the road” that’s “a fun, expressive, and intuitive companion that can listen, talk, and help drivers along the way.”

Unlike the Model X, the Nio ES8 features a swappable 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack that can be switched out for a charged unit in under three minutes at one of Nio’s 1,100 planned battery-swapping stations.

Nio will also offer a battery-rental subscription that provides “upgrading services, along with quality assurance, roadside assistance, car connectivity, and nationwide charging services” for 1,280 RMB ($200 USD) per month.

Nio EP9 clocks a 6:45.9 Nürburgring lap time on May 12, 2017

Formerly called NextEV, Nio gathered $1 billion in funding following the launch of its EP9 electric supercar.

This past March, Nio announced its intention to bring an autonomous car to the U.S. market by 2020.

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Source: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1114409_nio-es8-electric-suv-to-go-on-sale-in-china-this-month-half-the-price-of-tesla-model-x

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