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China's First Electric Car Company Eye's IPO 

08-14-2018 06:37 AM

Nio, a Chinese company that makes electric cars, has filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. The company said in a filing on Monday that it's looking to raise as much as $1.8 billion in the initial public offering. The company represents new competition to automakers like Tesla that are adopting electric systems and increasingly seeking to automate certain aspects of driving.

While Nio does have more than 6,200 employees, it just started making deliveries of its first volume of electric vehicles, the seven-seat ES8, in late June, after launching the $67,000 car last year. Nio expects to make the first deliveries of its second vehicle, the more affordable ES6 sport-utility vehicle, in 2019, and it's looking to bring out a sedan called the ET7 in 2020. "We are generally targeting to launch a new model every year in the near future as we ramp up our business," the company said in Monday's filing.

Nio sees itself as a pioneer in the market for premium electric vehicles in China, and for the moment, it's planning to only sell its cars in that country. The cars provide music streaming through Tencent, and delivery services are available through China's JD.com. Nio has a charging systems for homes, along with services for mobile charging, battery swapping and 24-hour pickup and drop-off. The repairs on specialist components like regenerative braking and charging will be done by Chinese companies too, and by keeping all of the production and repair in one country they aim to minimise the problems other have had, such as brake pad malfunctions and failures suffered by Tesla.

Nio was founded in 2014, initially under the name Nextev, and the company is based in Shanghai, although more than 500 employees work in its San Jose office. Investors include Baidu, Lenovo and Sequoia Capital. The company recognises that issues could arise as it proceeds with self-driving technology. Its Pilot technology, which includes automatic emergency breaking and other features, is available inside the ES8 vehicle, and Nio is one of 55 companies with permission to test autonomous vehicles on California public roads.

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