has an aggressive target for the first model of Alps codenamed DOM, despite the short delivery window available during the year, according to the local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

The first model of Nio's sub-brand codenamed Alps is scheduled to begin trial production in July, with launch and deliveries expected to begin in the second half of the year, local media outlet 36kr said in a report today, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Trial production is the last stage before mass production to verify that production equipment, supply chain, quality control, manufacturing system and other processes are able to meet the production beat, and to ensure that parts and assemblies have stability, the report noted.

Typically, about three months after the start of trial production, the vehicle will enter the SOP (Start of Production) phase and can be delivered to users, according to the report.

If it goes well, Alps' first model, codenamed DOM, is expected to be officially launched in October, the report said.

While the DOM model has a short delivery window available this year, Nio has an aggressive delivery target and the sub-brand is expected to deliver tens of thousands of units this year, 36kr's report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Pilot cars of the DOM model are currently rolling off the production line, according to the report.

Alps' entire model lineup will be developed based on Nio's third-generation technology platform, NT 3.0, with the DOM, the platform's first production model, applying some of Nio's latest technology, the report said.

The DOM model's battery packs will primarily consist of versions with capacities of around 60 kWh and 90 kWh, and the new packs will be thinner than the existing packs in Nio's battery swap system, thus providing more space inside the car, according to 36kr.

The DOM model will feature a new generation of motors developed and manufactured by Nio itself to optimize size and cost, the report said.

DOM will also feature 4D millimeter-wave radars, which are capable of detecting the height of objects, in addition to being able to detect horizontal objects, and was previously mostly featured in models priced around RMB 300,000 yuan ($41,680), the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The launch of brands including Alps is one of the key factors in Nio's efforts to reduce losses, the report noted.

In 2024, (NASDAQ: LI) and (NYSE: XPEV) will launch new models priced at around RMB 200,000 to capture the low-end and mid-range model market.

Nio's main brand won't release any new models in 2024, so the debut of sub-brand Alps will be an important card to play in defense against rival attacks, the 36kr report said.

Nio confirmed in August 2021 that it would enter the mass market through a sub-brand, and in subsequent communications said it had two sub-brands with internal codenames Alps and Firefly.

Alps is believed to be targeting the family car market priced between RMB 200,000 and RMB 300,000, while Firefly will target the sub-RMB 200,000 market.

On December 5, Nio founder, chairman, and CEO William Li said in a conference call after the company announced its third-quarter earnings that Alps completed the trial production of its VB (Validation Build) prototype and that there was still enough time to optimize and improve it.

On January 9, LatePost reported that Alps' first model will be an SUV and the second a sedan, both priced at less than RMB 300,000.

On January 17, HiEV reported that the Alps model will remove LiDAR and use only one Orin chip to reduce costs.

The Nio brand's eight models currently on sale are based on the NT 2.0 platform, which comes standard with a roof-mounted LiDAR and an Adam supercomputer powered by four Orin chips.

($1 = RMB 7.1975)

Nio's Alps sub-brand's models to ditch LiDAR and adopt 1 Orin chip, report says