Interview: Hui Zhang, Vice President, Europe, NIO

Known to some as the 'Tesla of China', ambitious new player NIO is pushing hard on e-mobility and automation. By Megan Lampinen

Chinese start-up NIO arrived on the scene in November 2014 with the aim of developing both electric and autonomous vehicles. It began with the all-electric luxury model, the ES8, in June 2018. An IPO on the New York Stock Exchange took place in September that year, followed two months later by the launch of a second model, the ES6. Meanwhile, its autonomous ambitions took a giant leap forward with the recently announced strategic partnership with Mobileye. Under the deal, NIO will produce a self-driving system developed by Mobileye for use in its own electric vehicles (EVs) as well as Mobileye’s autonomous ride-hailing services.

E-mobility and automation are big buzzwords today, but there are plenty of challenges in delivering on those targets. The latest financial results point to the struggle: NIO’s Q2 net loss was double what the analyst community expected at US$0.36/share. The company has also cut thousands of jobs. But for the so-called ‘Tesla of China’, the future is still bright. NIO’s European Vice President Hui Zhang speaks to Automotive World about the long-term potential for this Shanghai-based innovator….

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