Canadian automaker makes big splash in electric car production

And, no, it's not one of the big three

NIO is a Chinese start-up founded in 2014 that designs and develops smart, high-performance electric vehicles. The company’s Chinese name is Weilai, which means Blue Sky Coming. And out the blue, they’ve launched the NIO ES8 electric SUV, which is expected to compete with tech heavy-hitters like Telsa thanks to key systems supplied by Canada-based Magna.

“The role of design has to reach much more than just designing cars,” says Kris Tomasson, Vice President of Design at NIO’s Munich-based development studio. “We strive to understand our users’ lives and needs.”


NIO’s design philosophy is “Performance for Living,” which unites complimentary forces within the brand. “On the one hand we have built our performance creditials with our EP9 supercar. On the other hand, we have expressed our vision for the future with our concept car Eve.”

In the middle of these two grand gestures, says Tomasson, is the ES8.

The new SUV seats seven, features a lightweight all-aluminum body and chassis, and comes standard with electric-drive (e-drive) systems in the front and rear of the vehicle.

Magna supplied the aluminum front sub-frame and rear cradle, the gearboxes for both e-drive systems and the latching system for the side doors and hood.

NIO ES8 Quick Facts:

Seating capacity / arrangement: 2-3-2
Length: 5M
Width: 2M
Wheel Base: 3M

“Supporting a new automaker and launch such as the NIO ES8 electric SUV is ideally suited for Magna,” says Magna’s Chief Technology Officer Swamy Kotagiri. “We are able to apply our full-vehicle expertise to help make the vehicle lightweight while at the same time helping deliver power to the wheels in the most efficient way. Working with our customers to help bring their ideas to life is really what Magna is all about.”

To learn more about the NIO ES8, visit:

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