Four-year-old Chinese electric vehicle start-up NIO, with whom India’s Tata Technologies is the engineering partner since 2015, has begun deliveries of its first electric, all-aluminium, seven-seater SUV, the ES8.
The ES8, claimed to be a high-performance SUV and developed exclusively for the Chinese market, comes with an on-board NIO pilot system, an advanced autonomous driving assistant system, and a claimed first-in-car AI system nicknamed ‘NOMI’.
NIO claims the vehicle equipped with E-AWD can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.4 seconds, has the latest generation active air suspension, and has a braking distance of 33.8 metres, deaccelerating from 100kph to zero kph.
(Image credit: NIO Global Twitter)
The association between Tata Technologies and the Chinese start-up, initiated in 2015, saw both the partners working closely together. In an exclusive interview with Autocar Professional, Warren Harris, managing director and CEO, Tata Technologies, said: “The association between Tata Technologies and NIO was initiated in mid-2015, very close to NIO’s inception as an ambitious next-gen EV start-up. Since then, Tata Technologies has engaged with NIO to drive major engineering aspects related to the development of the ES8, such as body structures, closures and exteriors, advanced manufacturing engineering, PLM, and off-car connectivity.”
“Tata Technologies was able to pool in experts and teams from China, India, UK and Romania to work together with the NIO engineering team to deliver the final product which adhered to the highest standards in safety and finesse.”
“The first finished product – ES8 – is an all-aluminium SUV that broke lightweight index benchmarks and was delivered in record time from a blank page to a validation vehicle in world-class duration. Tata Technologies, in this strategic association with NIO, utilised its globally distributed execution model and extended its proven expertise in out-of-the-box engineering processes.”
“With the goal of creating a product-development process that would establish an industry benchmark, NIO and Tata Technologies have worked on a range of concepts on weight optimisation using advanced materials. The team has worked on creating a process that would pioneer the way for more advanced material-based vehicles in China. The result of implementing such expertise is that the ES8 is currently achieving Body Weight Efficiency targets better than the EuroCarBody Conference best,” added Harris.
Also read: Warren Harris: ‘EVs must be designed ground-up. Simply retrofitting existing car bodies with new batteries and parts won’t do.’
Tata Technologies and China's NIO develop all-aluminium electric car