Electric vehicle enthusiasts have 3 things in common, they believe that our automotive future lies in intelligent, electrically powered, and autonomous self-driving vehicles, as stated on the NIO website.
While the CEO of Tesla Inc. Elon Musk is already helping us to transition into a sustainable future through several initiatives, NIO is also taking us into the future continuously.
This blog post is not really a NIO is better or Tesla is a more reliable EV-making company blog post, it’s instead an educational post that takes us back in time and little into the future of electric vehicle manufacturing and autonomous technology.
BREAKING NEWS: NIO made an announcement yesterday via WeChat that its 50,000th vehicle roll off the production line at the JAC-NIO Advanced Manufacturing Center in Hefei, only 783 days after the first one coming out.
There seems to be some kind of pressure between Tesla fans and NIO fans. The later believes NIO is the Tesla of China, which may as well mean Tesla is not needed in China as there is NIO, while the former believes Tesla is already in China and Tesla is without a doubt the Tesla of China.
Do you think NIO is truly the Tesla of China?, and do you think NIO will beat Tesla at its game by doing way better than Tesla in the future in China?. Is NIO better than Tesla?.
Alright!, lets dig deeper into weather NIO is better than Tesla or not, by comparing both company and what makes them stand out among the rest.
NIO has a strong commitment to brighten the world of tomorrow, and so does Tesla. Tesla didn’t just become World Most Valuable Car-Marker overnight if they didn’t mean business.
Tesla is 9 years older than NIO, which makes Tesla the elephant in the room. Tesla surely has more experience in this space than NIO.
- NIO, founded in 2014, is just 6-year-old. NIO believes the automotive industry is on the threshold of profound change and believes it’s not just products and technologies that need to be changed but also the use of these products and how they are experienced by the customer as their owner. NIO wants you to feel good when you own their car.
- Tesla, founded in 2003 is now 17-year-old. Tesla was founded by some smart engineers that wanted to prove that electric vehicles can be better than ICE vehicles, by offering more power, acceleration, and driving pleasure. Today Tesla builds not only pure electric vehicles but also unlimited scalable power generation and storage products. “In 2008, Tesla unveiled groundbreaking battery and electric drive technologies with the Roadster. This laid the foundation for the world’s first premium sedan with a purely electric drive – the Model S , which received top marks in every rating category.” – Tesla
Is NIO truly the Tesla of China?.. Let’s keep digging.
- Tesla operates almost 500 stores and galleries around the world and over 80 service centers in 34 countries. Over 200 Tesla stories and centers are outside the United States. 4 years ago, about 96 Tesla dealers and galleries were recorded to be in the U.S. alone. As of last year, Tesla has it’s feet on the ground in 31 countries, which includes: United States, Germany, China, France, Italy, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Austria, among others. – Tesla
- NIO operates in less than 10 countries at the moment. NIO can be found in these 5 countries: U.S.A (San Jose), China (Beijing, Shanghai,..), Germany (Munich), U.K. (London). – NIO
- Tesla currently operates several factories around the world. The popular ones are;
- Gigafactory 1: Tesla Giga Nevada is a lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle subassembly factory near Reno, Nevada. The facility is owned and operated by Tesla, Inc. to supply the battery packs for its electric vehicles and stationary storage systems.
- Gigafactory 2: Tesla Giga New York is a photovoltaic cell factory leased by Tesla subsidiary SolarCity in Buffalo, New York. The factory, owned by the State of New York, was built on brownfield land remediated from a former steel mill. Construction of the factory started in 2014 and was completed in 2016–17. Wikipedia
- Gigafactory 3: Tesla Giga Shanghai is a factory in Shanghai, China operated by Tesla, Inc. The facility is currently producing final assemblies of the Tesla Model 3 and will produce Tesla Model Y, with Y deliveries slated to begin in January 2021.
- Tesla Fremont, California: Comprises 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space on 370 acres of land. By the end of this year, Tesla plans to have 500,000 cars coming out of the factory and to fully automate its manufacturing system to make this happen, having already increased the production rate at the Fremont factory by 400% since its launch.
- Gigafactory 4: Berlin, Germany. Under-construction.
- NIO formerly known as NextEV signed a $10 billion strategic partnership with JAC Motors in 2016, later that year the Chinese EV-manufacturer NextEV renamed itself to NIO. The company website NextEV.com now reroutes to NIO. NIO currently operates no production factory of their own, they instead run a joint manufacturing plant with JAC Motors.
- Jianghuai Automobile, likewise known as JAC Motors, is the main investor in the existing joint venture plant in Hefei that is Nio’s main production base.
- NIO, which is also backed by Tencent Holdings, cut thousands of jobs and dropped plans to construct its own manufacturing facility in Shanghai last year because of mounting losses.
Charging vs Battery Swapping
Tesla uses direct plugin battery charging technology, while NIO uses battery swap stations. NIO swap technology is something some investors are worried won’t be around in the next 5 years, perhaps that is why NIO is aggressively building high-speed charging stations.
- Tesla has over 15000 charging stations throughout the world. A tremendous jump from the 2016 recorded number of 3,100 charging stations according to Thinknum.
- NIO has over 130 battery swap stations and is also building out a network of high-speed “superchargers”. NIO is one of the EV-Makers out there utilizing the battery swap technology effectively. In May 2018, NIO opened its first battery swap station in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, dubbed the “Power Swap Station”. Only batteries for ES8 vehicles would be possible from this station back then. As of today, NIO battery swapping takes less than 6 minutes to be completed.
- Another notable thing about NIO battery swapping is that customers that have for example the 70 kWh pack can swap it for another 70 kWh pack for free but if they want an 84 kWh pack, for a long trip, for instance, they can rent it for $10 per day. I’m sure the 100 kWh pack will be available also, but the rental fee has not yet been announced. More about a first-hand experience can be found on Insideevs.
- All NIO future premium models that come with swappable batteries are still eligible under the new Chinese EV subsidy policy.
Autonomous Self-Driving Technology
- While Tesla vehicles are not considered fully autonomous yet, or Level 5, they are equipped with a super-advanced driver assistance system than most other vehicles on the road today. Tesla Hardware 2 that gives Tesla vehicles the power to self-drive, includes about 8 surround cameras, about 12 ultrasonic sensors, in addition to forward-facing radar with enhanced processing capabilities. According to Tesla during 2019 Q3, autopilot is near 9x times safer than average human driving.
- Last week Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a previously recorded video presented at World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China reiterated that Tesla is super close to developing fully autonomous vehicles, capable of self-driving with no human behind the wheel.
- Tesla develops and deploys autonomy at scale. According to their website, they believe that an approach based on advanced AI for vision and planning, supported by efficient use of inference hardware is the only way to achieve a general solution to full self-driving.
- NIO has an AI known as Nomi in every one of their cars. It’s described as the world’s first in-vehicle artificial intelligence on their website. The coolest thing about this Nomi is that whenever you open the door to your car, Nomi says hello to you, turns toward you, and blinks at you with good humor.
- “We used our intuition,” said AI specialist Tao Liang, Nio’s Engineering Director for Machine Learning. “We created different kinds of nodding, different motion curves, and asked our customers to tell us which ones seemed most natural.” In other words, an overly mechanical type of movement would have been less organic and friendly. “We believe that Nomi is enhancing the emotional bond with users,” said Liang. “So, we’re sticking with it for all the future vehicles.”
Now lets talk about these two big boys’ market cap.
Tesla is currently the most valuable vehicle maker in the world, with a current market cap of $278.368 billion, while NIO has a market cap of $13.136 billion.
Last week, NIO Stock fell over 24% after Goldman Sachs analyst Fei Fang downgraded shares of NIO from BUY to SELL while reiterating a $7.00 price target.
Tesla Stock closed on Friday at $1500, while NIO closed at $11.09. Some analysts believe NIO is relatively undervalued due to its Made-In-China by China idea. They believe NIO has an upper-hand than Tesla in China because NIO is a 100% Chinese company, backed by the Chinese government with billions of dollars and an advantageous subsidy.
According to Fang, the NIO share price reflects ‘over-optimism’. NIO share tumbled almost 20% on Friday alone following the analyst’s downgrade. Are you an NIO buyer at the price level?
- NIO delivered 10,331 electric SUVs in Q2
- Tesla delivered 90,650 vehicles in Q2
Tesla is set to report Q2 earnings after market closes on the 22nd of July, in 3 days’ time. This is a huge date for both companies, as whatever affects Tesla, will predict what could possibly affect NIO come next month.
Do you think Tesla will smash estimates like always?. Will Tesla finally make it to S&P 500?. Kindly share your opinion with us in the comment section.
Meanwhile, check out this video about NIO last week’ drop.