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.

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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.
Length 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)
< 8s
Top Speed mph (kph)
100 (160)
Recharge Time (quick charge)
50% in 10min

4 Trackbacks & Pingbacks


Honestly, I wouldn’t even buy this for 10,000. I’d be worried it would fall apart or explode.

Not a very good looking $40k car?

This company are not going to shift any units in Britain that’s for sure, because why would people pay more for one of these when they can pay less for a car (the Nissan Leaf) that a: looks nicer, b: costs less, and c: they’ve heard of?

$20,000.00 would make it competitive in the distance and range market. For long distance traveling, and ten thousand more, it seems the Chevy Volt is still the way to go at this point. The Volt is all electric, then turns into a hybrid after two hundred miles, extending your range.

The e6 is an intriguing car, especially with a 200-mile reported range, twice that of the Nissan LEAF. In fact, this is something to take into consideration when comparing the prices.

However, as several have noted, BYT has no track record, and that makes it somewhat of a scary purchase — even if EVs have far less mechanical complexity (only 5 major “engine” components) than gas-powered cars.

If the price drops, the range stays up, and BYD proves its vehicles reliable over the next three to five years, I might get one then…

Electric Cars need to be priced close to gas powered vehicles to gain enough market share to matter. More than that, they also need an infrastructure so that the consumer is never worried about where to RECHARGE and be able to get home. That is coming from several companies now who will be installing Recharging Stations at every McDonalds, Burger King, Denny’s, Starbucks, WalMart, etc. That way, the ALL ELECTRIC cars can go everywhere people go. Give me some credit for helping bring you this good news.

Good article. However, in the first sentence you probably mean:

BYD is a Chinese car company vs.

BYD are a Chinese car company

BYD = Build Your Dreams

EVs Rock!

lonnie fehr

if this car compares to all other junk made in china ,, no quality parts etc etc etc . motor controller burns out in couple years or less .. not me ive learned lesson in china made . buy china made puts usa workers out of work also . are they going to be selling them at the local 99 cents store ??? lol lonnie

great post as usual!

with all of the harmful products that have recently come from china why would anyone want to risk their lives in a chinese automobile. as far as the vehicles looking like other manufacturers vehicles well just look at all cars and you will see similarities .

Interesting car especially with the range and super quick charge of 50% of battery in under 10 minutes and 100% in 60%.

If it can do the 200 mile range AND have 100 mile top up charge in 10 minutes it is pretty good. Much would depend upon the type of charging facility needed. Is it a wall plug? or some special charging device.

Price is high but range and quick charge makes it comparable to gas powered cars. I am sure there are concerns with it being Chinese made but do not just write them off because of that. The notebook, netbook, iphone, ipad that you are using to cruise this site is probably made in China and so far most of my electronics products from there is pretty reliable.

china car is not best option…

I want one – as soon as they become available in Massachusetts! When??!! I am so ready and yearning to buy a BYDe6, right now, and hoping hoping that my current Subaru Legacy (guzzzling a whole gallon to drive just 20 miles) will last until I can get my dreamcar. Mine will be powered by a 150-square-foot PV array intertied with the grid. This will produce about 2000 kWh annually, which is what I will need to drive my BYD my normal 6000 miles/year. This will easily fit on the wall and roof of my garage. Compare that with gasoline: Gulf oil spill, global warming, hideous wars over finite supplies.
Please tell me the latest about when it will be available.

Wow, hope that electric car can be applied in my country.

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