Beijing — Chinese electric car maker Nio has launched sales of its first vehicle three years after the company was founded, undercutting the price of a rival model from Tesla. Chinese customers could buy the ES8 sport utility vehicle (SUV), with a range of 500km on a single charge, for 448,000 yuan (about $67,800), the company said at the weekend. That compares with 836,000 yuan for Tesla’s Model X and 596,300 yuan for BMW’s petrol-powered X5. "Electrification of automobiles provides us an opportunity to change lanes to lead," said William Li, a founder of Nio. "Our goal is to make charging more handy than refuelling." After raising more than $1bn from investors led by Tencent Holdings, Nio is preparing for its next phase of growth in the biggest electric car market in the world. In addition to Tesla, the company will be competing against homegrown rivals such as BYD, as well as industry giants Volkswagen (VW) and General Motors. Nio, formerly known as NextEV, is among several start...

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