's eight models are included in a regulatory catalog that all add significantly shorter range options.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Nio (NYSE: NIO) may offer new variants with shorter ranges for existing models in next month's facelift, potentially lowering the barrier to purchase for consumers in an effort to expand sales.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) today announced a new batch of NEVs (NEVs) that are eligible for vehicle purchase tax reductions, and Nio's eight on-sale models -- the ES8, ES7, ES6, EC7, EC6, ET7, ET5, and ET5 Touring -- were included.

The available battery packs for these models in the new catalog have the same capacities as before -- 70-kWh, 75-kWh, 100-kWh, and 150-kWh -- but new options with significantly lower ranges than the previous lowest numbers have been added.

In Nio's models, the 70-kWh and 75-kWh are the standard range battery packs, with the 70-kWh being the earliest available Li-ion ternary battery and the 75-kWh being the hybrid pack that the company launched in September 2021 using both Li-ion ternary battery cells and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells.

The 100-kWh pack is the long-range battery pack that Nio currently offers, and the 150-kWh is a semi-solid-state battery that is not yet available in its battery swap system.

The company filed for the use of 150-kWh batteries for existing models last year and conducted a range challenge test in December.

For the ET5, the 75-kWh pack provides a CLTC range of 560 kilometers and the 100-kWh is 710 kilometers.

In the latest catalog published by MIIT today, the ET5 has a minimum range of 500 km, which is 11 percent less than the previous minimum CLTC range of the sedan. The model also adds a 640-km range option and 1,055-km CLTC range powered by the 150-kWh battery pack.

All other models see similar changes, with the ET5 Touring's minimum range going from 530 km to 475 km, the ES6 going from 490 km to 450 km, the EC6 going from 495 km to 450 km, the ET7 going from 530 km to 470 km, the ES7 going from 485 km to 440 km, the EC7 going from 490 km to 445 kilometers, and the ES8 from 465 kilometers to 430 kilometers.

Nio model ranges in Feb 2024 filing

ModelTypeStarting Price (RMB)Current CLTC Range (km)CLTC Range in Feb 2024 Filing
ET5Sedan298,000 560/710500/560/640/710/1,055
ET5 TouringSedan298,000 530/680475/530/610/680/1,010
ES6SUV338,000 490/625450/470/500/575/605/625/930
EC6SUV358,000 495/630450/475/505/575/610/630/935
ET7Sedan428,000 530/675470/480/500/520/530/550/600/615/665/675/705/1,050
ES7SUV438,000 485/620440/450/485/575/620/930
EC7SUV458,000 490/635445/455/490/590/635/940
ES8SUV498,000 465/605430/435/465/565/605/900

Nio announced on January 17 that it will start deliveries of 2024 models in March, but did not provide any details. Previous reports in the local media said that the 2024 Nio models will have the cockpit chip upgraded from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 to the Snapdragon 8295 chip.

If the power performance is upgraded, it will result in the vehicle having a shorter CLTC range with the same battery pack, but that doesn't seem to be necessary for the Nio as it already has dual motors with strong performance in all its current models.

One explanation for the shortening of the minimum CLTC range for all models in the catalog is that Nio may lock in a portion of the range from the standard 70/75-kWh range battery packs, thus lowering the range and price.

In the Chinese EV market, price cuts usually trigger dissatisfaction among existing customers. But if Nio offers a lower barrier to purchase by making the battery packs' available capacity lower, it may not spark a significant backfire.

Notably, late last month, some bloggers on Chinese social media platform Weibo said that Nio will likely offer battery packs with a 50-kWh capacity, derived from the standard range battery packs that lock in some power.

The lower-capacity packs have been dubbed "city-class range," according to a screenshot of Nio's battery swap service shared by @德卤爱开车 on January 23.

China's EV market entered 2024 with a new price war, with several brands including Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV), Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) and IM Motors announcing price cuts.

Nio delivered 10,055 vehicles in January, up 18.21 percent from 8,506 a year ago, but down 44.18 percent from 18,012 in December, according to data it announced on February 1.

Nio to begin deliveries of 2024 models in Mar, offers discounts on current ones