NIO is turning the tables on some smartphone makers thinking of creating BEVs by launching its own premium smartphone specifically designed for electric cars.
The NIO Phone (Pictured above: Credit Reuters/Zoey Zhang) is said to be able to handle a host of vehicle related functions such as telling the car to park itself, Reuters reports. It is the first car-specific phone to be sold by a Chinese firm, highlights the advanced state of BEV technologies in the world's biggest auto market, where electric cars now account for more than a third of vehicle sales.
A NIO customer can also use the phone to notify their car to drive itself to their location, where allowed in China in restricted spaces and at low speeds, and to unlock the car even when the phone is switched off. This is among more than 30 car-specific functions the phone can claim.
The move reflects the intermingling between the smartphone and automotive worlds. Meizu, taken over by a venture belonging to Zhejiang Geely Holding's founder, in March unveiled smartphones that can connect to Geely's Lynx & Co-branded cars but are also marketed more broadly to consumers. Apple has long been linked with a BEV its builds itself and Xiaomi is also said to be about to start making cars.
NIO chief executive, William, Li said: “I believe many of our competitors will learn from our smartphone innovations and I welcome them to do so.” Three models are available, priced between 6,499 and 7,499 yuan ($890-$1,030). The phone will only be sold in China for now and deliveries will start from the end of this month.