Chinese EV startup Nio has been named as one of China’s most innovative companies by American monthly business magazine Fast Company.
Nio joins 50 other innovative companies making significant impacts in their fields around the world, as part of the annual Most Innovative Companies 50 list and number #5 for China.
As Fast Company puts it, Nio “has brought the same kind of excitement to the market as Tesla has in the United States, but amid a much more crowded market of electric-vehicle startups”.
For a relative newcomer to what is the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, its stable of premium electric vehicles have already captured the world’s attention.
Its’ Nio EP9 supercar became the fastest electric production car in July 2018 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, making the famous hillclimb in just 44.32 seconds.
Its next model, the ES8 all-electric 6-seater SUV, then made a name as it broke the Guiness world record for “Highest altitude achieved in an electric car” when it climbed the to 5,715.28 metres at the Purog Kangri glacier in Tibet in September 2018.
Nio made more waves in October 2018 when Tesla’s largest external investor, Baillie Gifford, acquired an 11.4% stake in the company resulting in a 22% jump in share values.
It now has a total of EVs in production, including the ES9, the ES8 and also the long-range, high performance all-electric ES6 which has a range of 510km and has been billed as China’s answer to the Tesla Model 3.
NIO founder, chair and CEO William Li says Nio is honored to be included in the Fast Company list, of which half are all newcomers.
“We are focused on shaping a better lifestyle for our users through thoughtful design, innovative services, and cutting-edge technology,” he said in a statement.
A slew of other companies working in the field of electric mobility were also chosen to join Fast Company’s list, including Australia’s own EV infrastructure company Tritium, e-scooter hire companies Bird and Grow Mobility, hybrid electric plane developer Zunum Aero, electric Truck company Thor Trucks, and even American retail giant Walmart for installation of EV charging infrastructure.
“Established players are showing the same kind of nimbleness that we’ve generally associated with startups,” said Fast Company deputy editor David Lidsky in a statement.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.