Chinese electric car startup Nio unveils new sedan with AR VR glasses

The Nio et5 electric sedan will begin deliveries in September 2022.


BEIJING – Chinese electric vehicle company Nio unveiled a new sedan and special augmented reality (AR) glasses on Saturday that reduce the need for car screens.

Augmented reality is a technology for overlaying digital images on the real, physical world. For cars, the technology could allow drivers to follow the road without looking at the dashboard.

Nio said it has partnered with Chinese augmented reality startup Nreal to develop AR glasses that come with its new ET5 sedan.

The electric vehicle will begin deliveries in September 2022, with pre-subsidized pricing starting at RMB 328,000 ($ 51,250) for models that come with a battery. According to the company, AR glasses are not included and must be purchased separately.

Nio CEO William Lee announces on December 18, 2021 the release of custom AR glasses created with the help of the Chinese startup Nreal.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

The ET5 is the second Nio sedan to hit the market. The company’s first sedan, the ET7, was unveiled in January at a higher starting price without subsidies of 448,000 yuan. but deliveries have not started yet.

ET7 shipments are due to begin on March 28, 2022, said William Lee, founder, chairman and CEO of Nio, on Saturday at the company’s annual Nio Day event.

Tesla, BYD, Xpeng and other electric vehicle companies in China are already selling sedans that are popular with locals.

Nio said its November shipments fell from a low of 3,667 vehicles in October, bringing the total to 80,940 vehicles in the first 11 months of the year. The ES6 and EC6 SUVs ranked among the top 10 new energy SUVs sold in China from this year to November, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Nio plans to come to Germany

The electric vehicle company plans to ship its products and services to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark next year, Li said. According to him, by 2025 the company plans to reach users in more than 25 countries and regions.

This year, Nio opened a flagship store in Oslo, Norway, and began shipping vehicles to an EV-friendly country where Chinese competitors Xpeng and BYD also supplied vehicles.

In early November, Lee announced that the company plans to expand into five other European countries besides Norway next year.

The Nio ET5 electric sedan offers six paint options, including a seat belt.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

AR / VR investments

Investment arm of Nio Nio Capital is an investor in Nreal. The ET5 sedan-specific goggles reportedly can project an effective screen size of 201 inches by 6 meters.

Nio also announced on Saturday that it is co-developing VR headsets with Nolo, another Chinese startup backed by Nio Capital. Pricing and other availability details were not disclosed.

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