ClearMotion said its active suspension technology, ClearMotion1, will be used to equip the next generation of Nio EVs over the new product development vehicle program life.
(Screenshot of Nio Day 2023 video replay.)
Nio Capital-backed US advanced suspension startup ClearMotion has received an order from Nio (NYSE: NIO) for what the company called a landmark production order for its active suspension technology.
Nio unveiled its executive flagship sedan, the ET9, at Nio Day 2023 on December 23 to take on the Mercedes-Benz Maybach, and one of the key features is a powerful intelligent suspension system that allows for better comfort.
To demonstrate the suspension system's capabilities, Nio played a demonstration video at the launch event showing an ET9 prototype with a tower of four layers of champagne placed at the front of the car going over a speed bump without the champagne spilling.
The production order is for 3 million units of ClearMotion's high-bandwidth active suspension technology, ClearMotion1, which will be used to equip the next-generation Nio electric vehicles (EVs) over the new product development vehicle program life, the startup said on December 23.
The order will cover 750,000 vehicles, though it doesn't represent Nio's planned capacity for the ET9, as it's common for car companies to make inventory write-downs or add orders for parts as they see fit.
Nio began accepting pre-orders for the ET9 from Chinese consumers when the model was unveiled, with deliveries expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025.
Pre-orders for the ET9 were higher than expected, William Li, Nio's founder, chairman and CEO, said in a December 24 group interview with media including CnEVPost.
The wording is the same as what Nio management has said when asked about orders after every previous new vehicle launch, with the company never mentioning specific order numbers.
A presentation at the ET9 launch showed Nio using technology from ClearMotion, the Nio Capital-backed US-based advanced suspension startup that aims to make car rides less bumpy, on the ET9.
"The ClearMotion1 system delivers a fundamentally better in-cabin experience that is directly in line with what our customers desire when driving and charging their electric vehicle. I am thrilled to be the first manufacturer to bring it to market," Li said, according to a ClearMotion press release.
On September 8, 2022, Nio Capital announced that it led ClearMotion's $39 million financing round. Li is the No. 1 person and managing partner of Nio Capital.
On August 16 of this year, Nio Capital said that ClearMotion's first manufacturing facility began construction in Changshu, Jiangsu province, in eastern China, and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2024, with product deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter.
"Nio is at the forefront of innovation, and its decision to be the first manufacturer to bring ClearMotion1 to consumers reinforces its ability to put revolutionized electric vehicles into the hands of drivers," Christian Steinmann, CEO of ClearMotion, said.
"Working with the team at Nio has been an incredible experience, and we look forward to delivering units from our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility," Steinmann said.