Chinese manufacturer NIO has big plans for the future. So far, it has sold far less than its compatriot BYD (which is climbing the world rankings), but with its products it intends to compete with big names like Tesla from now on. To boost sales, it is launching two new brands: Onvo, which means "on the road" and is aimed at families, and Le Dao, which means "path to happiness".

Onvo's first model is a compact crossover that takes on the Model Y head-on. It is called the L60 and can be pre-ordered in China from 219,900 renminbi (around £24,000 at the current exchange rate). The price list is designed to be lower than that of the competition (around 12% less than the Tesla Model Y, which is sold from 249,900 renminbi in China).

Deliveries in the country are due to start in September, while NIO would like to introduce it in Europe by the end of the year.

Onvo L60, dimensions and performance

The Onvo L60 looks like a fastback SUV and is fully electric. It measures 4.82 metres long, 1.93 metres wide and 1.61 metres high, with a wheelbase of 2.95 metres. Despite its size, the L60 retains a good aerodynamic profile, with a drag coefficient of 0.229 Cd at 120 km/h.

On board, the front seats can be fully reclined to offer maximum comfort when stationary, and the technology is not to be outdone. The 17.2-inch central screen is accompanied by a 13-inch instrument cluster and optional 8-inch entertainment screens for rear passengers.

<p>The Onvo L60 with reclining seats</p>

The Onvo L60 with reclining seats

The L60 has a CLTC fuel consumption of 12.1 kWh/100 km (5.1 mi/kWh), exceeding the Model Y's 12.5 kWh/100 km in similar scenarios, and offers three range options (CLTC):

  • 60 kWh battery (345 miles)
  • 90 kWh battery (454 miles)
  • 150 kWh battery (621 miles)

The 150 kWh unit is a semi-solid battery using cells from the Chinese company Welion.

Target: Europe

Onvo cars will have access to the NIO recharging network, which currently comprises more than 1,000 battery exchange stations and 25,000 public chargers throughout China. The network is also expanding outside the country, starting with certain European countries. The aim, as we said, is to sell the product on the old continent within the year.

Onvo L60 (NIO)

Onvo L60 (NIO)

NIO is still on the road under the code name Firefly and will focus on compact electric vehicles for urban environments, with prices expected to remain below £26,000. The US launch of NIO or any of its other brands may never happen, however, given the Biden administration's increase in tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles this week from 25% to 100%.

Gallery: Nio - Onvo L60