Chinese battery electric vehicle (BEV) startup Nio plans to launch a new brand to help strengthen its sales of battery powered family passenger vehicles, according to local reports.

Nio chairman and CEO William Li said the new brand, called Onvo, would be launched later this week headed by a former Disney executive. The main focus of the new brand would be to closely cater for the needs of families. The first model, the L60, will be an SUV to compete with the Tesla Model Y.

The New York listed company this week celebrated the production of its 500,000th vehicle, the ES8, at its factory in Hefei, Anhui province which began operations in 2018.

Nio said its global sales surged 135% to 15,620 vehicles in April and 21% to 45,673 units year to date.

The company launched the ET7 battery powered smart executive sedan last month which, it said, had a range of 1,000km (620 miles) on a single charge and was driven by a 150kWh powertrain.

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