Niutron, an electric vehicle manufacturer established by Li Yinan, the founder of Chinese electric scooter firm Niu Technologies, unveiled its first model on October 8 called the Niutron NV. Following the announcement, one blogger predicted that the new model’s competitor could be Li Auto‘s recently launched mid-to-large five-seat SUV called the L7. This comparison was then questioned by Li Auto’s founder, Li Xiang.
Commenting on his Weibo account, Li Xiang said, “The model is far inferior to our L6. Why compare it with the L7? It is not professional to compare a Mercedes-Benz GLC with a BMW X5L.” The L6 will be a five-seat mid-size SUV that focuses on the market of less than 300,000 yuan ($42,158).
The Niutron brand was released in December 2021, although Li has said he secretly started a car-building plan in 2018. Transforming from an electric scooter manufacturer to an electric vehicle manufacturer, Li once said that the automobile is not a winner-take-all field. As long as an enterprise in the field works hard, it can gain a certain market share, according to the entrepreneur.
The Niutron NV is a mid-to-large SUV available in three models. The electric versions cost 278,800 yuan and 318,800 yuan, while the extended-range version costs 288,800 yuan. According to an official statement, the model started small-batch production in March and deliveries will begin in December.
In terms of intelligent technology, the L7, which is priced at 339,800 yuan, has much richer configurations than the Niutron NV priced at 288,800 yuan. In addition to suspension adjustments, the biggest difference between the two cars is that the L7 also features an HUD display, a passenger entertainment screen, seat massages, and electric suction doors.
The Niutron NV has two versions of intelligent systems, while the standard advanced assistant driving (AAD) will be provided at delivery. Starting in the third quarter of 2023, all models will be able to upgrade to the higher-level SuperDrive AAD.
AAD includes one forward-looking camera, five millimeter wave radars, Horizon Robotics’ Journey 2 chip and Horizon Matrix Monocular vision perception scheme. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruising control, lane center control, blind spot detection, automatic parking assistance and 24 other functions can also be realized.
SuperDrive AAD is an advanced intelligent driving system. The hardware computing platform was converted to Journey 5 chip, which results in 256TOPS, a 64-fold improvement from the Journey 2. Sensors were also increased to 12 UHD cameras, enabling navigation by autopilot on highways and urban roads, and fully automatic parking in more scenarios.
The extended range version of the Niutron NV adopts a 1.5T four-cylinder five-in-one efficient range extender, with a comprehensive range of 1,257 km (CLTC). The CLTC driving range of the electric version is 560 km, while the 0-100 km/h acceleration of the whole series can reach 5.9 seconds.
Niutron’s battery comes from SVOLT. Previously, Yang Hongxin, the chairman and CEO of SVOLT, revealed that the company’s short-blade battery is used by brands including JiDU, XPeng, Great Wall Motor, Niutron and Spotlight Automotive.