Test drives of the ES7 are currently available in only a few cities, with the first participants mainly being those who first reserved the vehicle.

(Image credit: NIO)

NIO has started allowing consumers in a handful of cities to test drive its new SUV ES7, after allowing orders to be locked in starting August 2.

Just this past weekend, test drives of the NIO ES7 became available in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Xi'an and Dongguan, according to information shared by the NIO App today.

The first group of consumers who participated in the test drives were mainly those who first reserved the NIO ES7 and those who had already completed their order lock-in, according to NIO.

More cities will begin opening up for ES7 test drives this week as ES7 test cars are delivered to more showrooms, NIO said.

NIO has not yet opened consumer reservations for ES7 test drives, and they will become available in mid-August, NIO said, without providing more information.

NIO unveiled the ES7, its first SUV based on the NT 2.0 platform, on June 15. The model began accepting reservations at launch, and first deliveries are expected to begin on August 28.

In China, local car companies are currently launching high-end SUVs mostly with the Model Y, priced at around RMB 400,000, as a competitor.

The higher pricing of the NIO ES7, as well as its specifications, leaves it in a market that does not have many direct competitors.

The NIO ES7's standard range version with a 75-kWh battery pack is priced at RMB 468,000 ($69,870) before subsidies. Consumers who purchase it using BaaS, a battery rental service, will pay RMB 398,000, with a monthly battery rental fee of RMB 980.

The NIO ES7 with the 100-kWh long-range battery pack is priced at RMB 526,000 before subsidies. It is priced at RMB 398,000 under the BaaS plan, with a monthly battery rental cost of RMB 1,680.

In addition to these two versions, NIO also offers a premiere version with a pre-subsidy price of RMB 548,000. It is priced at RMB 420,000 in BaaS mode, with a monthly battery rental cost of RMB 1,680.

Under China's current subsidy policy for the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry, vehicles priced above RMB 300,000 are excluded unless they support battery swap, so NIO vehicles will still be eligible for purchase subsidies this year. By next year, China's purchase subsidies for NEVs will be completely eliminated.

For individuals who reserve an ES7 now and have it delivered within the year, they will receive a subsidy of RMB 11,340 for the NIO ES7 with the 75-kWh battery pack if they choose 20-inch wheels, and RMB 12,600 for the 100-kWh battery pack version.

If they choose the 21-inch wheels, the subsidies are RMB 9,072 and RMB 10,080 respectively.

NIO ES7 pre-order details: Price, delivery date and benefits