The Nio ES8 is the company's first foray into mass market vehicle, and it's definitely an ambitious one. In addition to Tesla, the company will be competing against homegrown rivals such as BYD, as well as industry giants Volkswagen (VW) and General Motors.
Moreover, the first Tesla Model X all-electric vehicle was spotted being driven in streets of Mumbai. That's half the Tesla Model X Chinese starting price of 836,000 yuan ($126,470).
The country has begun working towards this goal through helping electric auto companies, offering subsidies as significant as $15,000 per vehicle.
The ES8 starts at 448,000 RMB, which would equate to roughly $67,715 in USA dollars.
Toyota has announced that all of its models will have electric or hybrid versions by 2025, and it will have more than ten electric vehicle (EV) models for sale from 2020, as it aims to cut Carbon dioxide emissions.
NIOThe interior of the new all-electric SUV
NIO claims that these vehicles have all already been bought out by customers. While Tesla has sold its cars in China for a few years, they aren't eligible for these incentives and subsidies because they're imported.
"It's hard to assume" how this will affect Tesla's sales in China, Li told CNBC over the weekend.
In terms of technical specifications, the Nio ES8 is a seven-seat high-performance electric vehicle. This e-powertrain enables the ES8 to accelerate from 0-100 kmph in just 4.4 seconds. Nio will even offer a service in which a van will come out to charge the ES8 for 10 minutes to give it 62 miles of range. As governments around the world consider phasing out fossil-fuel-powered vehicles to curb pollution, automakers are rushing to develop zero-emission technologies, with batteries emerging as the dominant viable alternative to internal-combustion engines. The company plans to build more than 1,100 power swap stations by 2020. There will also be over 1,200 "Power Mobile" vehicles that will be deployed in the next couple of years.
NIO is also offering some Tesla-esque features and perks, including an in-car artificial intelligence system and a charging portal that it says will let drivers change their vehicle batteries in just three minutes. The system can automate certain features like adjusting the temperature and taking photos. It also sports the EyeQ4 chip from Mobileye, the global leader in Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS).