ClearMotion to supply smooth suspension technology for Nio ET9 EV Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The NIO logo on the EL6 car model is pictured at NIO House, the showroom of Chinese premium smart electric vehicle manufacturer NIO Inc. in Berlin, Germany August 17, 2023. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. startup ClearMotion will supply its active suspension technology for Chinese EV maker Nio’s (NYSE: ) upcoming ET9 in a contract covering 750,000 cars over the life of the luxury sedan, the two companies said on Saturday.

Nio was due to launch the ET9 on Saturday, and the electric vehicle should go into production in late 2024.

ClearMotion founder and chief technology officer Zack Anderson told Reuters that ClearMotion1’s suspension system uses a combination of hardware — a small unit containing a motor and power electronics that sits in each wheel arch of the vehicle — and software to read the road ahead and limit movement. inside the car by “about 75% compared to the best technology on the market today”.

“We’re taking sensor data and doing very high-speed analysis where we’re predicting what’s going to happen on the road before it hits the chassis of the car,” Anderson said.

He said ClearMotion is talking to many other automakers, including European and American, and added that the company expects to publicly announce at least one more customer next year.

ClearMotion currently has a factory in China and aims to build additional manufacturing near future customers, Anderson said.

“A lot of people get motion sickness when they try to work in the car,” he said. “Motion control is really the key to recovery.”

Initially, the technology will be used in luxury vehicles as automakers want to use it to make their new electric vehicles stand out, Anderson said.

ClearMotion has raised $350 million to date, and key investors include venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, Nio’s venture capital arm NIO Capital, venture capital fund Nextview Ventures and JPMorgan.

“We’re probably looking at raising more capital, but we’re pretty well funded right now,” Anderson said.