The batch of automakers looking to make electric SUVs that will compete against the Tesla Model X includes Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and…NextEV? Yes, the China-based startup, which is working on a 1,342-horsepower electric supercar called the EP9, is also planning an electric SUV, Automotive News says. And while the model will likely compete against the Model X, the publication says the (far-fetched?) plan actually calls for it to be priced closer to Toyota levels. Both models will be sold under NextEV’s Nio brand, and NextEV boasts that Nio’s EP9 will be the world’s fastest electric car.
The company says the SUV will have a 330-mile single-charge range and will go on sale in the US as soon as late 2018. NextEV will manufacture the SUV with some help from China-based JAC Motors.
With the SUV platform offering more battery-electric-vehicle flexibility in terms of battery-pack space requirements, a number of automakers plan to use SUVs and crossovers for their electric-vehicle debuts to the mass market. Audi could start sales of its E-tron electric SUV as soon as 2018, while Jaguar may do the same for its i-Pace. Mercedes-Benz said in late October that its EQ will go on sale by the end of the decade.
NextEV unveiled the EP9 in London late last month, and said at the time that the beast could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds and had a top speed of almost 200 miles per hour. The company also hinted at some autonomous-driving features. NextEV was beset by bad news in November when its co-president, ex-Ford Europe chief Martin Leach, passed away.