Nio’s Onvo L60 Has Its Sights Set On The Tesla Model Y

Nio wants to challenge the Tesla Model Y’s position as the world’s best-selling vehicle with an all-new vehicle sold under a new, more affordable sub-brand. It’s called the Onvo L60, and it has an optional ultra-long-range battery that should provide up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) on the Chinese CLTC test cycle.

The CLTC test cycle is more optimistic than even WLTP, which is not as accurate as the EPA test cycle in the U.S. For reference, the Tesla Model Y Long Range is rated in China at up to 688 km (427 miles), so, on paper at least, the new Onvo EV should provide over 40% more range from its battery pack, whose capacity has yet to be disclosed.

Nio wants Onvo to be a strong seller globally

Onvo is a brand new Nio sub-brand, and the L60 electric coupe-like crossover is its first model, which has clearly been benchmarked against the Tesla Model Y to compete with it on global markets.

The biggest battery in the L60 should have more than 100 kWh capacity to achieve the claimed range, even with the very impressive claimed efficiency of just 12.1 kWh/100 km, which equates to around 5.2 miles/kWh. The Model Y is rated at 12.5 kWh/100 km in China, or 4.97 miles/kWh. However, these are CLTC measurements, and achieving the same result in real-world driving conditions will be nearly impossible. The Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD has a combined EPA efficiency rating of 3.5 miles/kWh, which is much closer to reality.

With a starting price in China of 219,900 yuan (about $30,500), it is about 12% cheaper than a Model Y, which starts in China at 249,900 yuan (about $34,600). According to Nio CEO William Li, the L60 is aimed at the fully electric Model Y and the Toyota RAV-4, which is sold in hybrid and plug-in hybrid guise.

Buyers in China can also choose an Onvo L60 without the battery pack, for which they will pay a monthly subscription. Car News China says this version with the battery as a service option will be the most affordable and start at just 170,000 yuan, or around $23,500.

The Onvo L60 is slightly longer than the Tesla Model Y, so it should offer more interior room, but it won’t be quite as practical overall since it doesn’t have a frunk. The L60’s design is very Tesla-esque, though, from the shape of the front bumper, which is like that of a Model 3 Performance, to the side profile and shape of the rear flanks, which look like they’re directly inspired by the Model Y.

Even the shape of the dashboard inside the L60 is reminiscent of a new Tesla, as is the style and placement of the infotainment screen. The latter measures 17.2 inches, has a 3K resolution and is the biggest ever fitted to a Nio vehicle.

Nio wants to take the Onvo brand global by the end of the year, with Europe being the main market of focus outside China. However, we probably won’t see this vehicle or any Nio vehicle reaching the United States, especially since the Biden administration recently quadrupled import tariffs on Chinese cars. The only way around this would be for Nio to manufacture the vehicle in North America.