Nio is Tesla's biggest competitor in the Chinese electric-vehicle market — here's how its ES8 SUV compares with Tesla's Model X

  • Nio is Tesla‘s primary domestic competition in China’s luxury electric-vehicle market.
  • Nio released its first vehicle, the ES8 SUV, in 2018.
  • The ES8 has a 220-mile range, up to seven seats, and a starting price of around $US67,000.

China is the world’s largest electric vehicle market. In 2018, it was responsible for 56% of global electric vehicle sales with 1.2 million units sold.

In an effort to capture a greater percentage of that market,Tesla is building a factory in Shanghai, the first that will be wholly-owned by a foreign car company. For now, Tesla is shipping vehicles to Chinese customers from the United States.

Read more: The CEO of China’s largest electric-car company compares Tesla to high fashion – and says his company is the ‘girl next door’

Tesla’s primary domestic competition in China’s luxury electric-vehicle market is Nio, which released its first vehicle, the ES8 SUV, in 2018. The ES8 has a 220-mile range, up to seven seats, and a starting price of around $US67,000.

Though it was first released in 2015, Tesla’s Model X SUV is the company’s closest competitor to the ES8.

Here’s how the two vehicles compare.


TeslaTesla Model X.

The Nio ES8 has 220 miles of range, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), while the Model X has a maximum range of 295 miles, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NEDC estimates tend to be more generous than those from the EPA.



The Model X can accelerate from 0-60 mph in a minimum of 2.8 seconds, while the ES8 can do the same in around 4.4 seconds.


TeslaTesla Model X.

Both the Model X and ES8 can seat up to seven people. The Model X also has five and six-seat configurations, while the ES8 has a six-seat configuration.


NioNio ES8.

The ES8 has a drag coefficient of 0.29, while the Model X has a drag coefficient of 0.25. A lower drag coefficient indicates that a car is more aerodynamic.


TeslaTesla Model X.

The Model X starts between $US89,500 and $US104,000 before incentives, while the ES8 starts between around $US67,000 and $US68,000 before incentives.


NioNio ES8.

The ES8 is available only in China, while the Model X is available in the US, Europe, Canada, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Driver-assistance technology

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla owners can purchase Autopilot, a driver-assistance system that can handle acceleration, braking, and steering under some circumstances with driver supervision.

Nio has a driver-assistance system called Nio Pilot that will have similar capabilities the company plans to introduce this year through wireless updates.


NioNio ES8.

Tesla has around 1,440 Supercharger stations designed specifically for Tesla vehicles. Nio provides owners with mobile charging and battery-swapping services.

Tech features

TeslaTesla Model X.

Drivers and passengers control most features in the Model X through a 17-inch touchscreen. Tesla also sends wireless updates to its vehicles that include new features and performance upgrades.

The ES8 has a 10.4-inch touchscreen, heads-up display, and voice-activated system called Nomi that can control settings like music and navigation.

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