has started deliveries of the EL7 in the Netherlands, and deliveries of the SUV model in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway are also about to begin.

(Image credit: NIO)

NIO (NYSE: NIO) has started European deliveries as planned for the EL7, a model known as the ES7 in China and renamed in Europe at the last minute before its launch due to a lawsuit with Audi.

On January 31, NIO delivered the EL7 to its first local customers at NIO Space Mobile, next to the Zandvoort race track in the Netherlands, the General Manager of NIO Netherlands said in a post on the company's mobile app today.

Kees, one of the first customers to receive a delivery, said he chose NIO because he wanted a new experience and, through the subscription model, he could also have more options and more convenient access to other NIO models in the future, according to the article.

After the Netherlands, deliveries of the EL7 in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway will also begin in the near future, the article said.

NIO brought the ET7, EL7 and ET5 to Europe at the NIO Berlin launch event on October 7, 2022 European time, but at that time only offered a subscription model and did not allow consumers to purchase them.

Deliveries of the ET7 have already started in Europe in October 2022. NIO said at the time that deliveries of the EL7 would start at the end of January 2023 and the ET5 at the end of March 2023.

On November 21, 2022, NIO began offering purchase options in Europe and announced pricing in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, as well as details of entitlements.

A few hours before the NIO Berlin launch, NIO's German, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish websites began featuring the ES7 under the EL7 name.

NIO said at the time that it had decided to use the EL7 model name in Europe in order to avoid affecting the interests of customers there, given its potentially protracted litigation with Audi.

In June 2022, Audi filed a lawsuit against NIO in a Munich court, alleging that the latter's ES6 and ES8 models infringe Audi's trademark rights.

German newspaper Automobilwoche reported on January 19 that the Munich District Court had upheld Audi's request in a first-instance ruling.

NIO subsequently said it regretted the verdict and would appeal to defend its legal rights by legal means.

NIO delivered a record 15,815 vehicles in December, including 4,154 for the ES7, according to figures the company announced on January 1.

Vehicles subscribed by NIO in Europe are recognized as assets on the company's balance sheet, but are not counted in published deliveries, the company previously said.

NIO's deliveries in January are expected to be announced later today.