BYD Electric Cars Coming To The US
BYD are a Chinese car company with serious global aspirations and after recently signing on with Daimler AG (NYSE:DAI) to co-develop electric vehicles, no one is doubting their potential. Warren Buffet came onboard in late 2008, buying up a 10% stake in BYD worth $230 million USD, largely due to their enviable chinese market share and to a lesser extent due to their development of electric vehicles that may be heading to Europe and the USA sooner rather than later. BYD has been the toast of the international business community so far in 2010 having been ranked as the 8th most innovative company in the world by BusinessWeek and the 16th most innovative company in the world by Fast Company.
BYD has attracted some negative attention in the past over its propensity to build cars that look startlingly familiar to cars being offered by Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Kia and a number of other leading international auto manufacturers. Most observers put this down to being par for the course in China but state that in order to succeed outside of the mainland they will need to develop their own look.
The BYD e6 pictured above is the model that is expected to go on sale to European and North American consumers later this year (if approval can be attained) and BYD has models testing in the US at the time of writing. The car itself is a 100% electric vehicle and is said to be capable of 200 miles on a single charge, there are some caveats though, the initial price is said to be in the region of $40,000 USD which is a big ask for an unknown chinese brand and positions the e6 at a price point of over $10,000 USD more than the all electric Nissan Leaf, the Toyota Prius, the Chevy Volt and the hybrid Hyundai Sonata.
The e6 does have significant potential however most analysts are indicating that the car is going to need to aim to enter the market at about half its current price ($20,000 USD) if it hopes to compete with the big brands in the increasingly crowded electric and hybrid electric vehicle arena.
Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your opinion in the comments below and let us know if you think BYD can succeed with the e6.
OFFICIAL BYD E6 PRESS RELEASE-2009 BYD e6-As the latest star in a rapidly expanding portfolio of green, high-tech products, the all-new BYD e6 electric vehicle is being unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The five-passenger e6 will be marketed as a family-oriented crossover vehicle.-The pure-electric e6 features BYD’s revolutionary battery technology – what we call the Fe battery. The range per charge is expected to be a remarkable 249mi (400km). Performance is surprisingly brisk, with 0-60mph (0-100km/h) acceleration in less than 8 seconds and a projected top speed of 100mph (160km/h).-The Right Size-What sets the e6 apart from other pure electric vehicles are its size and performance. With current battery capacity limited, most other manufacturers have elected to focus on small, lightweight EVs that stress efficiency over performance and range.-BYD, as a young brand with a rich history of IT development and cutting-edge battery R&D, has the drive and extroverted personality to take an unconventional approach and manufacture cars that embody the company’s slogan, Build Your Dreams. That’s the spirit and underlying philosophy behind the e6.-The high-tech e6 boasts the exterior dimensions of a typical American family vehicle, with ample interior space that provides substantial legroom and headroom for passengers, plus a generous luggage compartment. The e6 measures 179.3 inches (4554mm) long, 71.7 inches (1822mm) wide and 64.2 inches (1630mm) tall.-Convenient and Eco-Friendly-The pure-electric e6 is environmentally friendly, eliminating toxic emissions and greenhouse gases while driving. BYD’s new Fe battery takes this “green” philosophy a step further: All chemical substances used in the battery can be recycled.And while the range of many electric vehicles is restricted by their battery capacity, making it inconvenient to travel long distances, the BYD e6, with its high-efficiency Fe battery, can go up to 249 miles (400km) on a single charge. That makes the e6 suitable for daily commutes, around-town chores and even long journeys.-The Fe battery pack in the e6 can be quick-charged to 50 percent of itscapacity in 10 minutes, and 100 percent of its capacity in 60 minutes.-e6 SPECIFICATIONSLength in (mm)179.3 (4554)Width in (mm)71.7 (1822)Height in (mm)64.2 (1630)Wheelbase in (mm)111.4 (2830)Curb Weight lb (kg)4453 (2020)Output hp (kw)268 (200)Torque lb-ft (Nm)406 (550 )Range mi (km)249 (400)0-60mph Acceleration (sec)< 8sTop Speed mph (kph)100 (160)Recharge Time (quick charge)50% in 10min