NIO begins deliveries of ES6 with NCM 811 battery

The NIO ES6 is an all-electric SUV for the Chinese market that has a 84 kWh battery pack made with NCM 811 battery cells from CATL. NIO has announced that deliveries to customers are underway.

Let’s see the press release.

Shanghai, China – June 18, 2019 – Today, NIO officially began delivery of the 5-seater high-performance, long-range, electric SUV, NIO ES6, to its users. NIO ES6 Premier Edition vehicles were delivered to users in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

NIO Founder, Chairman and CEO, William Li, noted, “The ES6 is NIO’s second mass production model, which we launched after the ES8. In less than five years, we have delivered two mass production models to our users, fulfilling our promises. We will continue to work on production, quality control, and increasing user satisfaction.”

With a high-strength aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) hybrid structure, the ES6 features 4.7 second 0-100 km/h acceleration, a NEDC range of 510 km, and 33.9-meter braking distance from 100-0 km/h. The ES6 expands the design language of the NIO product line with a stylish and sporty exterior complemented by a refined, high-tech interior.

The ES6 was officially launched on December 15, 2018. The ES6 has a base price of 358,000 yuan before subsidies.

Some more technical details from a previous press release.

  • A length of 4,850 mm, width of 1,965 mm and wheelbase of 2,900 mm offer a comfortably large space
  • Standard-fit dual motors in conjunction with intelligent electric all-wheel drive deliver 0-100 km/h acceleration in as little as 4.7 seconds and 100-0 km/h braking distance of 33.9 meters
  • The first SUV featuring a combination of permanent magnet and induction motors, of which the permanent magnet motor with a 97% energy conversion rate, allowing for performance and energy efficiency alike
  • The 84-kWh lithium battery pack, optional across the model range, features world-class nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) 811 cathode material, with energy density of up to 170 Wh/kg, and NEDC range of 510 km
  • The only body design in its class, with a hybrid structure of aluminum alloy and carbon fiber gives overall torsional stiffness of 44,930 Nm/degree

As far as I know this was the first mass produced electric car with NCM 811 battery cells to be delivered to customers. A year ago everybody thought - myself included - that it would be the Koreans battery cell makers (LG Chem and SK Innovation) to celebrate this feat. Instead, it’s the Chinese battery cell maker CATL that wins the trophy.

While at the moment the NIO ES6 is only interesting for the Chinese that can buy it, we’ll definitely see NCM 811 battery cells from CATL in upcoming electric cars from PSA and Volkswagen, since CATL is one of their battery suppliers.

The energy density at the battery pack level of 170 Wh/kg is great, for example the Tesla Model 3 battery energy density is estimated to be 168 Wh/kg.

For another example, let’s see the Renault ZOE battery figures.

In the comment section of another article, Ralf K. already did the math.

  • ZE 40 Energy density at battery pack level: 44,9 kWh / 305 kg = 147 Wh/kg
  • ZE 50 Energy density at battery pack level: 54 kWh / 326 kg = 165 Wh/kg

Looking at the data it seems that the new Renault ZE 50 battery pack is either using NCM 712 or NCM 811 battery cells from LG Chem. They are probably NCM 712, since LG Chem said that the NCM 811 cells would only be produced in cylindrical format to be used in electric buses. Unless the company changed its plans due to the increasing competition and decided to produce NCM 811 battery cells in pouch format aswell.

Anyway, eventually the NIO ES6 will be released in Europe, but don’t hold your breath.

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