Is EF9 the big surprise waiting at Nio Day 2021? [Update]

As per the website of the China National Intellectual Property Administration, electric carmaker Nio has registered the trademark for ‘EF9.’ While there is no information about the body style of the Nio EF9 and a registration certificate is not a substantiation of intended usage in an upcoming model, ElectricVehicleWeb takes a calculated guess that it could be Nio’s long-rumored sports car, which could see its unveil at the Nio Day 2021.

Nio ET7 front quarters unveiled at Nio Day
Nio Day 2020, which was held in January this year, saw the unveil of the Nio ET7. Nio Day 2021 is expected to host the premiere of the smaller, second sedan, besides new surprises. Image: Nio.

Electric car enthusiasts are well aware of the Nio Day annual event, which garners similar excitement levels as Tesla’s Battery Day. The company pushed the Nio Day 2020 event to this year (held in January 2021), where the Nio ET7 was unveiled. Nio Day 2021 is not that far now, as explained later in the story. Nio has confirmed that the next launch from the company is another sedan.

As per Nio’s naming strategy, the ETs are reserved for sedans, ESs for SUVs, and ECs for coupe/coupe SUVs, whereas the numbers indicate the hierarchy of the model within the range. Hence, the ‘9’ in the Nio EF9 certainly highlights high-end tech and performance for the forthcoming model, which and could have the Tesla Roadster‘s performance figures as a benchmark.

Nio EP9 convertible patent image
Nio has filed a patent application to protect the design of a Nio EP9 convertible, as per a CnEVPost report. Image Source: CnEVPost

There are rumors that the Nio EF9 could be the convertible version of the Nio EP9. The latter was the world’s fastest electric car when it broke cover in November 2016. With a lap time of 7 mins 5.12 seconds, it was the fastest EV on the Nurburgring Nordschliefe. With an output of 1,360 PS, the EP9 can accelerate from naught to 200 km/h in 7.1 seconds and attain a top speed of 313 km/h. It has a swappable battery system, and it can travel up to 427 km on a full charge.

Whatever the final look and design, the Nio EF9 could sport the ultra-high density solid-state battery cells, which incidentally was announced at the Nio Day 2020 this year. These cells promise a density of up to 360 Wh/kg and were confirmed to reach customers by the fourth quarter of 2022. Existing Nio users can swap their battery packs with a 150 kWh solid-state cell, which brings with it range improvements up to 910 km on the EC6, and 1,000 km on the recently unveiled ET7 which will initially retail with 70 kWh or 100 kWh battery packs.

Nio 150kWh solid state battery
Nio Day 2021 is expected to throw more light on the 150 kWh solid-state battery cell, especially, if the manufacturing will be from Solid State Lion. Image: Nio.

These solid-state cells boast new technologies including Nickel-Ultrarich Cathode and Silicon Carbide (SiC) Composite Anode. Interestingly, reports speculate that these high-end batteries will not be made by established player CATL, rather a new company called Solid State Lion will be manufacturing them. Similar to the EF9, there is little information available on Solid State Lion, other than the fact that it is connected to the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Science.

We will closely follow the Nio EF9, but it’s clear that the anticipation for Nio Day 2021 has commenced.

Nio ET5 premiere

On 6 September 2021, autohome.com.cn said in a report that a new sedan called ‘Nio ET5’ will debut at Nio Day 2021. During the Q3 2021 earnings conference call on 9 November 2021, William Bin Li, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Nio, said that the company is developing two new products on Nio technology platform 2.0 and expects to start customer deliveries in H2 2022. The company will share product details at Nio Day 2021, Bin Li added.

The Nio ET5 is a mid-size sedan to compete with the Tesla Model 3, the upcoming BMW 3 Series electric/BMW i3 Sedan (name TBA), and the Xpeng P5. Rumour has it the ET5 sedan will measure between 4,800 and 4,900 mm in length, with a 2,800-2,900 mm wheelbase.

Bin Li had said during the company’s Q3 2020 earnings conference call last year that the company plans to introduce two sedans back-to-back, the first one of which turned out to be the Nio ET7.

For the next product that we’re going to launch is going to be a sedan on the NP 2.0 platform. It means that we’re going to enter the sedan market. At the same time, we’re also developing other vehicle models. For example, the second new product in the pipeline is also going to be a sedan.

William Bin Li, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Nio (Q3 2020 earnings conference call)

In addition to unveiling the ET5 or an ET5 concept, Nio could deliver the first units of the ET7 to customers at the Nio Day 2021 event.

Nio Day 2021 to be held in Suzhou

The Nio Day 2021 event will take place on 18 December 2021. Nio has chosen Suzhou as the city where it plans to conduct this year’s Nio Day event, and more specifically the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre as the venue.

In June 2021, local Nio clubs made applications for having the Nio Day 2021 in their city. The applicant cities were required to offer an indoor venue with a capacity of at least 8,000 people. Moreover, the location needed to be available for ten consecutive days between the mentioned dates. Another basic requirement was that the applicant city shouldn’t have hosted a Nio Day event in the past eight years.

On 25 July 2021, Nio announced that it plans to hold Nio Day 2021 in Suzhou, which received 30,971,620 or 49.3% of the votes before the voting ended at 23:00 hours a day ago. The event has entered the preparatory and implementation stage with immediate effect, Nio said in a statement. The company also released a picture saying “See you in Suzhou” in Chinese (“苏州见”), which you can view in the story’s featured image. Suzhou is a city located in the west of Shanghai in the Jiangsu Province.

Nio ES6 Suzhou Nio battery swap station
A Nio ES6 parked outside a Nio battery swap station located in Suzhou, China. Image Source: Weibo/Nio

Nio production ramp-up

Every Nio takes birth in Hefei, the capital and largest city of China’s Anhui Province. A JAC-Nio joint venture plant started production of Nio EVs on 27 May 2018, and it will continue as the sole production site for the foreseeable future. On 24 May 2021, Nio announced that JAC plans to expand the annual production capacity to 240,000 units to meet the growing demand.

In the first three quarters of 2021, Nio delivered 66,395 EVs. In the first month of the year’s final quarter, the company delivered 3,667 EVs, marking a year-over-year decline of 27.5%. The company said that the slowdown in production because of the restructuring and upgrades of manufacturing lines and the preparation of new model launches between 28 September 2021 and 15 October 2021 affected the deliveries. There were some supply chain issues as well. However, the company created an all-time record for new orders that month due to increasing user demand.

Featured Image Source: Weibo/Nio