Nio unveils lower-cost ES6 electric SUV

It will start at $52,000, but you might not see it outside of China.

Nio is already preparing to launch its second electric SUV mere months after releasing its first. The Chinese automaker has unveiled the ES6, a lower-priced SUV that will start at the equivalent of $52,000 -- a sizeable $14,000 less than the ES8. While Nio didn't outline all the differences, the new model won't exactly be a slouch. The starting model can reach 62MPH in a brisk 5.6 seconds, and should have a range of 255 miles on Europe's NEDC testing cycle thanks to a 70kWh battery (there's also an 84kWh option with a 298-mile range). Move up to the higher-end trims and you'll hit that 62MPH mark in 4.7 seconds, with ranges between 267 miles and 317 miles depending on your battery choice.

Chinese drivers can pre-order the ES6 now ahead of deliveries in June 2019. At the same time, Nio added that it would make an 84kWh battery upgrade available for the ES8 sometime in the third quarter of 2019.

There's no mention of whether or not Nio will sell the ES6 outside of China, although we wouldn't count on it in the near future. Nio's mainstream car business is still relatively small, with 9,726 ES8s reaching customers as of December 15th. For contrast, Tesla delivered 56,065 Model 3 cars just in the third quarter of 2018. However, a lower-priced machine like the ES6 could accelerate Nio's growth and increase the chances that you'll see its cars beyond Chinese roads.