NIO (Chinese name: Weilai, meaning Blue Sky Coming), founded in 2014 by William Bin Li, is based in Shanghai, China, but it has global ambitions. It has a North American headquarters in San Jose, California, a design headquarters in Munich, Germany, a London, England office to support its performance activities, including its Formula E team, and a number of other facilities around China. Its first vehicle was the EP9, with which it set a 6:45.900 Nurburgring record. Six copies are to be built and all are said to be sold. It began selling its first mass-market vehicle, the 7-passenger ES8 in June 2018, in China. It plans to go public in September of 2018. It differentiates from competitors in a couple of key ways. One, in China, it has opened battery-swapping stations as a supplement to fast charging. And two, it vehicles feature an AI avatar called Nomi, which sits on the dash and interacts in many different ways, playing music upon demand, taking photos of the occupants, among other things. Its abilities will surely increase with time.