Test review DrivOlution NIO ET5 75 kWh

Test report

Testverslag Drivolution NIO ET5 general view

Does the name NIO not immediately ring a bell? Logical. NIO is a new Chinese player in the electric vehicle market. And not just any old one: together with BYD, they could well break into the automotive landscape. After all, NIO does not belong to any of the big automotive groups like SAIC, BYD, Geely either.

Founded on 25 November 2014, NIO is a global company that designs, develops and builds smart and powerful electric cars. NIO's mission is 'To Shape a Joyful Lifestyle' for its users and it does so through thoughtful design, great services and advanced technology. Under the slogan 'Blue Sky Coming', NIO describes this guiding philosophy for a brighter, positive and more sustainable future. NIO's logo conveys these values: Sky > Vision : Earth > Action. Meanwhile, NIO is active in 6 countries and by 2025 they want to be active in 25 countries. An ambitious plan. 

What does NIO have to offer? Meanwhile, there are 5 models available notably the ET7 and ET5, the sedans, the ET5T, a touring version which you rarely come across in the EV landscape, and the SUVs notably the EL6 and the EL7. 

Today, NIO is not yet present in Belgium. So we headed to the Netherlands to get acquainted with the NIO ET5. And we got to test drive it for a week. As always, we focus on consumption and driving range.

General information

  • Sedan
  • Number of seats 5
  • Mass in running order 2.215 kg
  • Warrenty (basic) 60 months/160.000 km
  • BaaS (Battery as a service) - Battery renting/leasing via subscription
  • Tow Hitch Possible yes (Towing Weight Braked 1.400 kg)


  • BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)
  • Battery type Lithium-ion
  • 75,0 kWh Battery capacity (70,5 kWh usable)
  • Power 360 kW (489 hp)
  • 700 Nm torque
  • AWD
  • EV Dedicated Platform NIO ET2

Consumption/driving range (WLTP)

  • Combined consumption 16,2 kWh/100 km
  • Combined driving range 456 km
  • Driving range city Not available

Charging information

  • Onboard charger 11 kW
  • Port Location leftside rear
  • Charge Power AC 11 kW
  • Fastcharge Power 140 kW max.
  • AC : two charges
  • DC : one charge
  • Battery swap: one
  • On-Route Battery Warmup - warming up the battery on the move yes

Test track (102,9 km)

  • Non-urban (42 km) 11,5 kWh/100 km
  • Highway (39,9 km) 12,2 kWh/100 km
  • City (21 km) 13,4 kWh/100 km
  • Combined 12,4 kWh/100 km

Test results (831 km)

  • Non-urban 13,6 kWh/10 km
  • Highway 14,2 kWh/100 km
  • Urban 14,8 kWh/100 km
  • Mix 13,7 kWh/100 km
  • Combined 14,0 kWh/100 km

Test data

Test drivers

Johan Stevens

831 Testkilometers


NIO NT2 platform

The NIO ET5, as well as the NIO ET7 and SUV models, uses the new NT 2.0 platform.

Drive system

The electric drive system includes a 150 kW induction motor at the front and a 210 kW permanent magnet motor at the rear. The permanent magnet motor uses the SiC power module to reduce energy consumption and noise. All models in the NIO range are four-wheel drive.

Battery pack

The NIO ET5 is currently available with two battery packs notably:

  • the NIO ET5 75 kWh, 360 kW (490 hp), 456 km (WLTP)
  • the NIO ET5 100 kWh, 360 kW (490 hp), 590 km (WLTP) 
  • the NIO ET5 150 kWh (not yet available), a Solid State Battery, with a driving range of around 1,000 km.

Besides the ET5 as a sedan, a Touring is also available under the name ET5T. It features the same battery versions as the NIO ET5.

Driving modes - 5 in total

The NIO ET5 features 5 driving modes notably Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and custom. It allows you to change settings for acceleration, regenerative braking, steering force and climate control.

  • Eco - focusing on increasing the remaining driving range. 9.9s acceleration (acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h). Regenerative braking is set to standard. 
  • Comfort - balances performance and comfort with 7.9s of acceleration (acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h). Regenerative braking is set to low. 
  • Sport - 5.9s acceleration (acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h). Regenerative braking is set to low. 
  • Sport+ - 4.0s acceleration (acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h). Regenerative braking is set to low. 
  • Customised - your personalised driving mode

Additional driving modes

  • Snow mode - smooth starts and driving in snow
  • Sand mode - dynamic torque distribution for driving in sand 
  • Wet mode - for slippery roads 
  • Trailer - special adjustment for towing vehicles

Modes allow you to change settings for acceleration, regenerative braking, steering force and climate control.

Regenerative braking

Regenerative braking depends on the selected driving mode. In Eco driving mode, it is set to "standard". In the other driving modes, it is "low". Coasting or sailing is not an option. As soon as you release the power pedal, the car starts slowing down. More or less deceleration you control with the power pedal. So the "one-pedal driving principle" applies.


Let's take a look at how the NIO ET5 scores in terms of consumption. After 831 test kilometres, the on-board computer records a combined consumption of 14.0 kWh/100 km and this spread over 16 recorded trips. This includes 2 long trips from Breukelen (NL) to Merelbeke and vice versa. Taking into account the available battery capacity of 70.5 kWh, this consumption would give a good 504 kilometres

Looking at the trip profiles, this gives the following results:

  • 6 out-of-town trips (secondary roads of 30/50/70/90 km/h): the combined consumption comes to 13.6 kWh/100 km. This allows you to cover 518* kilometres
  • 7 trips on motorway resulting in a combined consumption of 14.2 kWh/100 km. Good for a driving range of 496* kilometres. 
  • 2 city trips which record a combined consumption of 14.8 kWh/100 km. This would result in a driving range of 476* kilometres
  • 1 drive is a mix of the above: this one yields a combined consumption of 13.7 kWh/100 km, taking you 515* kilometres.

And what do the driving modes deliver? Traditionally, we focus mainly on the Eco and Comfort driving modes. 

  • 10 out of 16 trips we opted for Eco driving mode: it yielded a combined consumption of 13.7 kWh/100 km
  • 2 out of 16 trips we opted for Comfort driving mode. Good for a combined consumption of 14.6 kWh/100 km
  • and 3 trips in Sport driving mode which gave a combined consumption of 14.2 kWh/100 km
Importantly, we use the NIO ET5 in a day-to-day setting. We use the car in normal traffic and this means we depend on various conditions including traffic density, weather conditions. So the results mentioned always reflect a snapshot in time. We note that it is mainly the driving style that affects consumption and less the chosen driving mode. After all, it makes little difference whether you drive at a constant speed on a motorway in Eco driving mode or Sport driving mode.

Test track

Let's take a look at the NIO ET5's performance on our test track. After 103 km, the NIO ET5 recorded a combined consumption of 12.4 kWh/100 km. Based on the usable battery capacity of 70.5 kWh, this would be enough to get 569 kilometres far.

Taking a quick look at this on the various sections of the test track, the results are as follows:

  • Trip non-urban (secondary roads) : 11.5 kWh/100 km. If you can maintain this consumption continuously, you will be able to drive 613 kilometres*.
  • Motorway journey : 12.2 kWh/100 km. This is enough for a driving range of 578 kilometres*. 
  • City trip : 13.4 kWh/100 km. At this consumption, you you can travel 526 kilometres* far. 

I admit to being somewhat surprised by the consumption in the city. Usually an electric car performs better here and this is because of the lower speed and the possibility to regenerate.

And what about the driving range?

We start with a driving range of 361 kilometres. After the 42-km out-of-town drive, the driving range dropped to 323 kilometres. A drop of 38 kilometres. After the motorway journey of 39.9 km, a driving range of 276 kilometres remains. A drop of 47 kilometres. After the city drive, the driving range drops from 276 kilometres to 256 kilometres. So 20 kilometres lost. The total trip has taken a total of 105 kilometres of driving range. 

We aim to drive as efficiently as possible by maximising the use of cruise control (constant speed) and anticipating traffic situations to the maximum. The speed on motorway is 110 km/h. During the drive, we drive without climate control (if the weather conditions allow it).
*The driving range stated is a theoretical calculation based on usable battery capacity. Obviously, various factors such as weather conditions, ride profiles, use of electric consumers and, of course, your driving style play an important role.

BaaS (Battery as a service)

Buy or rent

When ordering the NIO ET5, you have several options. And this is quite unique on the electric vehicle market. Let us summarise.

  • You can choose to buy the ET5, including the battery. And what does the battery cost? For the 75 kWh, you can expect 12,000 euros and for the 100 kWh 21,000 euros. This brings the total price of the car, including battery, to 62,700 euros for the 75 kWh version and 71,700 euros for the 100 kWh version. Note that these are Dutch prices. 
  • Or you can buy the vehicle in combination with BaaS. This means you do not purchase the battery but rent it. In this case, you pay a monthly fee. More info on this can be found on NIO Subscription. The monthly rent (subscription) depends on the chosen battery type. Prices range between 169 euros (BTWi) for the 75 kWh and 289 euros (BTWi) for the 100 kWh. Again, these are Dutch prices.

Only in the case of purchasing the vehicle in combination with BaaS will you have access to the NIO Power Swap network and battery upgrade services.

How does it work?

Swapping or changing the battery works very simply. You search in the navigation for the a swap station. You then reserve the battery in advance. Just before you reach the NIO Swap Station, the battery is ordered. When you arrive at the Swap Station, park your car in the indicated space (you will be guided). Then click on start and your NIO ET5 will park itself. So you don't have to manoeuvre yourself. All you have to do now is confirm the swap and the procedure starts. You cannot leave the vehicle during the swap. If you do, the process stops for safety reasons. All this takes up to 10 minutes. At the green light, you leave the station with a full battery (90%). This video shows you exactly how it works. NIO Power | NIO 

In the future, it would also be possible to opt for a larger battery (100 kWh) if you plan to travel, for example. When you return, you then have the 75 kWh screwed underneath again. This is top notch.

Other advantages of the BaaS

You cannot get a bad battery as they are fully checked between swaps. So you always leave with a battery that is in good order. Moreover, the batteries are charged at a power between 20 and 80 kW to ensure maximum lifetime.


Of course, you won't find a Battery Swap Station on every street corner yet. Currently, there are now 11 swap stations installed in Europe. The European battery swap stations are located in Norway, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. By 2025, NIO aims to have 120 stations. NIO Chargemap

Charging and driving range

Battery - rent/lease or buy 

The NIO ET5 is available including the battery or in combination with a Battery as a Service (BaaS), subscription in which the battery is leased and can be swapped in the NIO Power Swap Stations. Several stations are already operational in countries where NIO is distributed. 

Charging - AC, DC and a Battery Swap (Utrecht)

We charged the NIO ET5 75 kWh three times: twice via a charging station (AC) and once via a quick charger (DC). And on the way back to the Netherlands, we also did a battery swap in Utrecht. And this is a fantastic experience, though. How charging a battery can be simple. 

The highest charged driving range is 411 km. We add that we charged the battery 

Drive and comfort


No lack of power in the NIO ET5. Bumps are well absorbed. The steering wheel lies well in the hand. The seat adjustment is electric and can be saved. 

PanoCinema cockpit

The classic cockpit built nicely around the driver is disappearing more and more. Instead, we are moving towards open space. It is no different with the NIO ET5. Central to the open space are the central 12.8-inch AMOLED display and a 10.2-inch HDR instrument panel. Everything is clearly legible. By the way, you can choose between day and night or have this done automatically.

Ambient lighting - 256 colours at your disposal

Fully customise the ambient lighting to suit your mood of the day.

Visibility - small rear window

All-round visibility is good. Few blind spots. Large windscreen. Only visibility to the rear is limited by the small rear window.

Driver display - clear

The driver display includes basic information. Information regarding consumption is rather limited. On the central screen, however, you can perfectly see where the energy goes.

Ease of use - takes some getting used to

In the side doors, you can only operate the side windows. You control the mirrors via the central screen and the two round buttons on the steering wheel. The left button is for the left side mirror and also contains the functions for cruise control. The right button is for the right side mirror and other commands. In any case, it takes time to get used to it. On the other side you do not need to regulate your mirrors every day. Worth mentioning is the way the air vents are cleverly and invisibly integrated into the dashboard.


There is no shortage of space in the NIO ET5, both in the front and in the rear. The tailgate does not open fully. It is therefore a trunk. Hence, the NIO ET5 is a sedan and not a Hatchback. 

NOMI Mate (the intelligent digital assistant) - AI made more human

Sometimes in need of some company? Then Nomi can help you out. Nomi is NIO's cute-looking voice assistant. She greets you kindly when you get in with a hand gesture and a "Hey there". She also looks at you. She only communicates in English for now. Meanwhile, she is fully immersing herself in the Dutch language. She also responds to commands, if you pronounce them correctly, of course.

ADAS (Advanced Driving Assist Systems)

The NIO ET5 doesn't leave you out in the cold when it comes to safety and comfort. As such, it boasts the latest assisted driving features. With NIO Aquila Super Sensing and NIO Adam Super Computing, the NIO ET5 offers a safe, semi-autonomous and intelligent driving experience in all conditions during driving, parking and battery changes. NIO Aquila Super Sensing features 33 powerful sensors, including an ultra-long-range high-resolution LiDAR, seven 8MP high-resolution cameras, four 3MP light-sensitive cameras, an ADMS (Advanced Driver Monitoring System), five millimetre-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, GPS, IMU, and HOD. NIO Aquila redefines the standard of intelligent driving sensor systems in production models. 

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW) & Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Lane Change Alert (LCA) - Lane Departure Warning (LDW) - Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Door Open Warning (DOW)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Brake (RCTA-B) & Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA)
  • Emergency Active Stop (EAS) & Emergency Lane Keeping (ELK)
  • Advanced Driver Monitoring System (ADMS)
  • Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
  • Dynamic Environment Simulation & Display (ESD)
  • Shiftless Automatic Parking Assist with Fusion (S-APA with Fusion)
  • Power Swap with Assisted Parking (PSAP)
  • Side Distance Indication System (SDIS)
  • Lane Centering Control
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Yet during the test week, we found that the ADAS in the NIO ET5 are sometimes a little too responsive. The Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Lane Centering Control (LCC) correct rather abruptly. Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) does not always take parallel roads into account and dynamic signs are not always recognised either. So staying vigilant is the message. If you look to the side for a moment too long, you will also soon be caught off guard by NOMI, which always remains alert.

Driving range simulation (km) based on trip consumption (kWh/100 km) and road type

This simulation gives you an idea of what is possible in terms of driving range and this is based on realised trip consumption. It goes without saying that the figures shown are a theoretical indication. Moreover, they are always snapshots.

Comparison WLTP/test results DrivOlution

We score pretty well in terms of consumption and driving range when compared to the WLTP figures. Once again, an indication that driving style is an important factor.

Testverslag Drivolution NIO ET5 back view

The amount of electric vehicles on the market is growing rapidly. Moreover, we are getting to know new players in the market, especially in the direction of China. One of these is NIO, which focuses on innovation, autonomous driving and battery services. And especially the latter is a USP with which NIO clearly wants to distinguish itself from other EV brands. Renting/leasing the battery via a subscription (BaaS) is unique. Another USP is of course the ability to swap (swap) the battery. This too is hitherto unseen. It is safe to say that all this takes driving an electric vehicle to another level. 

The week of testing with the NIO ET5 has been an experience anyway. It has a handsome design with a striking rear end that has some Porsche allure. The front end also looks good. It rides pleasantly and it has more than enough power to get you through traffic smoothly. In terms of finish and the quality of materials used, there is nothing to criticise. In terms of consumption and driving range, the NIO ET5 scores pretty well. It also has a considerable number of driving assistance systems that are unfortunately a bit too intrusive at times. 

We can only hope it makes its way to Belgium soon....

More information about the NIO ET5 can be found on NIO ET5: Mid-size Smart Electric Sedan | NIO | test
Special thanks to NIO Netherlands for providing the test vehicle.
Pictures News | NIO
Publication of these figures may only be made with the express approval of DrivOlution.