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 ÔÇô June 18, 2019┬áÔÇô 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, ÔÇťThe ES6 is NIOÔÇÖs 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.ÔÇŁ

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.



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. IÔÇÖm tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

38 Responses

  1. Apkungen says:

    First off. The pack weight isn’t that interesting. The expensive parts are the battery cells in the car. The Tesla for example has a battery cell density of at least 250 wh/kg. I think it’s more than that.

    I’m surprised the pack density and the claimed 250 wh/kg cell density are so low on the model 3 since there are commercially available 18650 cells from Panasonic that gives you 296 Wh/kg (3,7V 3,6A 45g) and Tesla is said to have even better density than that. And the 21700 cell is supposed to be even better.

    • Ralf K. says:

      Apkungen, in Model 3, Tesla put more components inside the battery packs’ case. Therefore the value Wh/kg at battery pack level decreases.
      “Tesla also designed the Model 3 battery pack to include the (AC) charger, fast-charge contactors, and DC-DC converter all in the same package.”

      Other car makers so far had the DCDC converter (for 12V) and AC charger as separate components external to the battery case, which is easier for mix and match and easier to diagnose/repair, but takes more space and requires more expensive cooling lines being routed and assembly time.

      You had to dig into this deeper, if you wanted to know about the packaging of these components in Zoe Neo or the Nio cars.

      As a side note: The Tesla-Panasonic 21700 cells with 5060 Ah are about the same in energy density as 18650 with 3550 mAh. But they changed the chemistry to a NCA version with more Nickel and less Cobalt and Manganese in Model 3 to reduce costs.

  2. Manuel says:

    No, using simple math, its obviously the renault zoe as batterys with similar energy density of a model 3. It’s 52kWh vs 75kWh battery maximum currently. But zoe is a B segment car, Tesla is a D segment. How much weight is the battery of the Tesla compared with the Renault’s? I don’t know but it probably is 50% heavier, so is the total energy, so we come up with similar energy densities.

  3. K says:

    Really interesting cars.

  4. Yograj Rajbhandari says:

    Will you also have RHD. In E6S series or just LHD

  5. Ralf K. says:

    And my best guess on the NIO ES6/ES8 batteries with 70/84 kWh taking into account this picture:

    70 kWh = 16s 2p 6s2p = 96s 4p of 50 Ah cells (CATL, prismatic VDA PHEV2 size)
    96 * 4 * 3,7V * 50 Ah = 71040 Wh, advertised as 70 kWh
    These 50 Ah cells would be NCM-523 cells.

    See this reference, page 17.

    84 kWh = 16s 2p 6s2p = 96s 4p of 60 Ah cells (CATL, prismatic VDA PHEV2 size)
    96 * 4 * 3,7V * 60 Ah = 85248 Wh, advertised as 70 kWh

    I leave it to Pedro to check whether these can be NMC-811 cells.

    Total cell weight of 384 cells with 850 Gramms is 320 kg. To achieve the 495 kg at pack level for the 84 kWh battery (170 Wh/kg at pack level), this leaves 175 kg for a sturdy, yet light weight case ready for battery swapping, connectors, BMS circuitry, cooling pipes, cables and stuff. Sounds about feasible.

    I estimate, they essentially copy the design from Samsung SDI and Volkwagen AG with its 6s2p modules of PHEV2 cells, but put a NMC 811 chemistry in there. Another option would be CATL pouch cells inside this modules.

    In case, the 70 and 84 kWh were usable capacity (which I doubt for a Chinese car maker because Chinese companies ALWAYS blow up their specs), the cells would even be one step higher in energy density and nominal Ah. The Nio battery pack does not have a dome attached (for other components), as we can be seen here, but is flat:

    AC charger and DCDC 12V converter are presumably external to the pack.

    • Ralf K. says:

      Correction: “96 * 4 * 3,7V * 60 Ah = 85248 Wh, advertised as 84 kWh”

      The 70 kWh pack would be about 517 kg to then achieve the 135 Wh/kg stated in the SAE article.

      The 84 kWh pack would be about 495 kg to achieve the 170 Wh/kg stated in the Pedros article. It may well be that the 60 Ah were indeed somewhat lighter than the 50 Ah cells or other optimizations of the pack result in these 22 kg less. Or certain figures had been rounded to some numbers. Or folks included/excluded coolant (dry battery vs. wet battery) or whatever other “optimized” ways of presenting certain goals were taken. The subtle differences don’t really count anyways, but for a project managr it may be essential to have a figure referenced that is “best in class” or whatever other buzzword was promised before.

  6. Tim Pet says:

    OK, I spend the last month on a deep dive of the state of the auto industry as pertains to powering our vehicles. My findings have made me ready to divest from all legacy OEMs, only investing in pure electric OEMs going forward.
    In other words, as of July 2019, I am no longer cautious about mass BEV adoption. Furthermore, the existing OEMs have written their obituary because we are not in the middle of an EV Revolution, but a much greater Battery Revolution.
    History will need to record this transition as being as significant as the transition from wood to coal, coal to oil, oil to gas and now gas to battery! Notice I did not mention renewables. This is not about climate change; it is about the Battery Revolution’s impact of the transportation industry.

    Beyond China, Tesla is the only OEM without legacy assets to manage down from, giving them an unimaginable advantage. To better understand this “legacy-less” advantage, just look at what the legacy OEMs have done since 2001. They’ve have fully redesigned the hybrid platform every two years. The first pass was augmenting the 12V battery to support bolt-on stop-start (micro-hybrid). The batteries got better. Then the OEMs added a small battery for regen-braking and light assistance to gas engine (mild-hybrid). The batteries got better. Then the OEMs added a bigger battery to handle limited range electric (full-hybrid). Now then, imagine if the batteries of 2011 were as good as those in 2020, and the first BEVs had affordably come to market with 200+ range!!! EVs would have been adopted as fast as the batteries could have been manufactured, and several legacy OEMs would be out of business by now!

    The batteries got better and now it is the middle of 2019. The OEMs now have several nice PHEVs, but there is an adoption-stopping flaw in most of the 2019 models: the PHEV customer is expected to plug-in for a trivial number of miles. Most of 2019 PHEVs offer around 20 miles of plug-in range, some up to 50 miles of electric range. So what is the problem? The problem is that most PHEV customers will still be affluent home-owners, who frankly could care less about saving a few bucks a day. After the novelty, many will not even bother plugging-in for such a small boost in electric mileage. Therefore, the market is limited to novelty seekers and value-signalers, not folks with busy lives who just need a car.

    As 2020 approaches, the batteries are even better again. What are legacy OEMs offering: more battery less gas. But now the batteries are good enough to offer 200 plus miles of range, so even the novelty seekers and value-signalers will just go full BEV. And, many more folks will easily adopt the 200 mile electric, without worrying too much about range. But the OEMs will be offering a few PHEVs with more than 75 miles of electric range. Now then, an affluent, busy home-owner WILL bother with charging for 75+ miles of range…that is non-trivial. But they will have few PHEVs to choose from…and plenty of BEVs with 200+ miles of electric range. What will the OEM’s be doing in 2022? Offering there first PHEVs they going 150 miles electric??? But in 2022, most BEVs will have 250+ miles of range, less than 30 minute fast-charges and 10s of thousands more fast-charge locations.

    So what is the future of a legacy OEM that will survive? The MUST split their business into legacy and non-legacy! for the legacy side, they must focus only on non-plug hybrids. For the new side, they must only focus on BEV! If your favorite legacy OEM is not doing this, then DIVEST!!!

    That is right, the surviving legacy OEM will embrace that gas, augmented with the 48V architecture, and just enough extra battery to handle all the modern electronics (regen, steer-by-wire, automony, infotainment, etc). The surviving legacy OEMs will NOT chase the PHEV, nor even the BEV. To survive the OEM legacy must bring hyper focus to the smaller pie of battery-augmented gas vehicles. To survive, the legacy must spin-off their BEV company and create a brand-new BEV-only brand! A new company, with a completely new BEV identify and brand, completely separate and distinct from the legacy gas/diesel industry is mandatory! Why is it mandatory? Which BEV talent will want to work in mixed mode when they can work for a BEV-only company? Which investors will want to invest in mixed-mode when they can invest in several, new BEV-only companies? The BEV-only company has unlimited areas of new investment to focus on such as Vehicle-to-Grid, Vehicle-to-Vehicle, Robot-to-Vehicle, Wireless-to-Vehicle, etc.

    So, where have I gone wrong here? Are you also on the same page? Let me know!

  7. Lars says:

    When you write split you do not mean EQ from Mercedes, ID vom Volkswagen and i from BMW and the like?
    The problem is that this split will never happen, it would create a new competitor. If the new company would be successful it would take customers from the old company and you would have the same situation as you have today. So you would still have BEVs taking customers from the old ICEV maker and no one wants interna compitition.
    On the other hand this is kind of what happend to Volvo and Polestar, but they are owned by a chinese company.
    For BEVs you have to hope that the new start-ups like Tesla are successful or that they can buy an existing car maker and that way can get som manufacturing facilities and some general car making know-how.

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