In 2010, there were only about 17,000 electric cars on the world’s roads. By 2019, that number had grown to 7.2 million, with nearly half of those in China, the world’s largest auto market. For China, electric vehicles (EVs) are one of 10 business sectors at the heart of the government’s “Made in China” effort to boost advanced industrial technologies. The government will provide billions of dollars to subsidize EV manufacturing and batteries, and encourage businesses and consumers to buy them.

Not only is China’s EV industry meeting the government’s national ambitions, but it is also helping to address some of the country’s most pressing energy and environmental issues as China continues to struggle with heavy air pollution in its major cities and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the leaders in China’s nascent electric car industry is NIO, whose ambition is to make EVs everyone’s natural choice for a more sustainable future. Hence the startup’s Chinese name: Weilei, which translates to “blue sky coming.”

Since 2014, the company has been building a new generation of electric cars that offer superior performance and unique user experiences, with the goal of helping consumers rediscover the “joyful lifestyle” of car ownership. The company primarily serves the Chinese market, but has been committed to expanding its global reach from the start. It needed a strong technology platform to support its growth. NIO chose the 3DEXPERIENCE platform as the foundation for its enterprise-wide research and development activities.

Prior to implementing the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, NIO’s designers and engineers worked in silos, focusing solely on their local product development activities. Today, they all work collaboratively on a truly global development platform that manages the company’s entire product development lifecycle, ensuring digital continuity, data integrity, and effective change management at every stage of the process.

Crucially, NIO was able to go from concept to launch of its ES8 model in just three years, thanks to enhanced collaboration between its global teams and partners on the platform. With fully integrated design and manufacturing processes and accurate data, NIO can now focus on innovation while continuing to grow its business.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform stimulates our users’ creativity and drives innovation by enabling them to work in 3D,” said Longyun Zou, associate director of the digital engineering team and expert at NIO. “Having a single product design platform coupled with synchronized engineering greatly accelerates product design. This strong technology support has certainly helped speed up the time to market for the ES8.”

Want to learn more about how NIO is leveraging the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to accelerate product development and grow its global footprint? Watch the videos below or read the detailed case study.