NextEV unveiled Monday its record-breaking electric supercar, the first product under the Chinese-backed startup's new NIO brand.
The NIO brand and the NIO EP9 electric supercar—which broke an electric vehicle lap record at N ü rburgring Nordschliefe — were unveiled at a launch event at the Saatchi Gallery in London. This is the first official launch since NextEV was founded in 2014. The company opened their Silicon Valley headquarters in October. Padmasree Warrior, former CTO at Cisco, is the U.S. CEO of NextEV.
The EP9 is not an everyman's electric car. It's not meant to be. This sleek, supercar will have a limited production run—just six according to NextEV—and a steep price. The car cost about $1.2 million to make, a NextEV spokeswoman told Fortune. You can check out a video of this supercar's record-breaking EV lap below.
The first volume production car under the NIO brand will first be introduced in China in 2017, which follows the underlying business strategy of company founder William Li.
Li, a Chinese entrepreneur who founded online automotive marketing and advertising firm Bitauto, has said the company plans to first sell its series of electric and autonomous cars to consumers in China. The vehicles will later be sold in other global markets.
The EP9 might be out of reach for the vast majority of the world's population. However, the R&D that went into this supercar should benefit the company's more mass market offerings. The company, which has competed in the FIA Formula E Championship since it was established in 2014, will likely apply some of what's learned in the all-electric racing series to its mass market cars as well.
The EP9 is meant to show what is possible, which Li also expressed in a statement Monday.
"The NIO EP9 was born to push limits and is the first stage of automotive production for NIO," Li said. "It is a statement of our vision and technical and manufacturing capabilities. It is a best-in-class product that showcases what is possible with electric vehicles."
NIO is headquartered in Shanghai. The company has development offices around the world, including in San Jose, Calif., Munich, Beijing, Hong Kong, and London.
The NIO brand name is meant to represent a new day, the company says. NIO’s Chinese name is Weilai, which translates as Blue Sky Coming. In other words, NIO is meant to foretell a brighter future and bluer (cleaner) skies.