's 500,000th production car is an ES8, the most expensive of its available models, with a cumulative total of 81,740 units delivered by the end of March.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Nio's (NYSE: NIO) 500,000th production vehicle rolled off the assembly line today at the electric vehicle (EV) maker's F2 plant at NeoPark in Hefei, Anhui province.

The 500,000th mass-produced vehicle was an ES8, for which Nio held a celebration ceremony in the presence of officials from Anhui.

From 2019 to date, Nio ranks No. 1 in the premium battery electric vehicle (BEV) market in China with a transaction price higher than RMB 300,000 yuan ($41,500), the company said.

(Image credit: Nio)

Nio was founded in November 2014, and its first production vehicle was the ES8, which was released on December 16, 2017 at Nio Day 2017.

The first production vehicle of the ES8 rolled off the assembly line on May 27, 2018, and the model began deliveries in June 2018 with 100 units delivered in the first month.

On December 28, 2019, Nio launched the new ES8 with 188 upgrades at its Nio Day 2019 event, although it's still based on its first-generation vehicle technology platform, NT 1.0.

The company launched the new ES8 at Nio Day 2022 on December 24, 2022, transitioning its first production vehicle to the latest NT 2.0 platform.

The 2024 ES8, currently on sale, was launched on February 22 and first deliveries began in early March. The car is currently the most expensive of Nio's available models, with a starting price of RMB 498,000 yuan.

By the end of March, the Nio ES8 had accumulated 81,740 deliveries, according to data compiled by CnEVPost.

The owner of Nio's 500,000th mass-produced car is Liu Qingfeng, chairman of Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) firm iFlytek, based in Hefei, Anhui province, who joked at today's event that his Maybach doesn't accelerate as fast as Nio models on the road.

"I watched the gray ES8, fast as a bolt of lightning, overtake my Maybach," he said.

Nio saw its 100,000th production vehicle roll off the line in April 2021, and CEO Elon Musk expressed his congratulations at the time.

"Congrats to Nio. That is a tough milestone," Musk tweeted at the time. The Tesla CEO had later acquired Twitter and renamed the platform X.

Later in April 2021, Nio delivered its 100,000th vehicle.

On April 26, 2022, Nio saw its 200,000th production vehicle roll off the line and delivered its 200,000th vehicle about a month later on May 15.

The company's 300,000th vehicle rolled off the line on December 12, 2022, and was delivered in February 2023. Last November, Nio delivered its 400,000th vehicle.

Nio's vehicles are currently manufactured at its F1 and F2 plants in Hefei.

Nio was not initially qualified to produce vehicles, and all models were produced on its behalf by Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC).

The EV maker gained independent vehicle production status at the end of 2023 and acquired the assets of the two plants originally owned by JAC.

($1 = RMB 7.2260)

Nio to officially launch Onvo brand on May 15, debut model to take on Tesla Model Y