Audi filed a lawsuit in Munich against the Chinese EV maker Nio over alleged trademark infringement. The Four Rings claims that the Nio ES6 and ES8 nameplates are too similar to the S6 and S8.
The ES6 and ES8 are electric crossovers, whereas the S6 and S8 are performance versions of the A6 and A8 saloons, respectively. The sporty Audi names have a history going back to the 1990s.
Gallery: NIO ES8
Nio launched the ES8 in Norway last year. Currently, that country is the only part of Europe where the Chinese automaker operates. On its website, Nio is chronicling its plan to expand into Germany, which is supposed to happen in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Nio intends the ET7 electric saloon to be its first product for sale in Germany. According to Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper, the automaker is also showing the ES6 and ES8 at automotive trade shows. Since the lawsuit, Nio has been removing the model designations when displaying these vehicles.
Gallery: NIO ES6
Unlike most EVs on the market, Nio's products support quick-swappable batteries, in addition to owners being able to plug them in. The company has an agreement with Shell to build battery-changing locations in Europe. The replacement only takes about three minutes, according to the company.
In addition to the expansion into Germany, Nio wants to launch in Sweden, Denmark, and The Netherlands, according to Handelsblatt.
Audi is currently working on the A6 E-Tron that would compete against the Nio ET7 in Germany. The production version of it is supposed to debut this year. The vehicle rides on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform. In concept form, the saloon has a pair of electric motors making a total of 470 bhp (350 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-metres).
The A6 E-Tron concept has a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack that provides an estimated range of more than 435 miles (700 kilometres) in the WLTP test. It can fast-charge at 270 kilowatts, providing 186 miles (300 kilometres) of driving distance in just 10 minutes.
An A6 E-Tron Avant estate joins the range in 2024. It will be mechanically identical to the saloon, just with more cargo space.
Source: Handelsblatt via Automotive News Europe