BYD's all-electric e6 hits the market - 87 mph and a range of 190 miles

BYD's all-electric e6 hits the...
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The BYD e6
The BYD e6
BYD's electric buses have been on the market for more than twelve months
BYD's electric buses have been on the market for more than twelve months
One of the e6 taxis which enabled the company to perform real-world testing so quickly.
One of the e6 taxis which enabled the company to perform real-world testing so quickly.
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One of the stars of the Chinese automotive industry is Shenzen-based BYD, which although only sixth largest of the Chinese manufacturers, had the country's top selling individual vehicle last year in the form of the BYD F3 (a Toyota Corolla E120 clone).

Now, after substantive testing of its e6 all-electric model in taxi and company fleets, the five-seater 75 kW, 87 mph crossover has gone on sale to the Chinese public, with a (claimed) range of 300 km (186 miles), which would give it the longest range of any EV in the world at present.

One of the e6 taxis which enabled the company to perform real-world testing so quickly.
One of the e6 taxis which enabled the company to perform real-world testing so quickly.

If you've never heard of BYD before, you may be surprised to find you are probably already using the company's products - the company began as a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries and its batteries power more than half the mobile phones in the world and fair chunk of the laptops. Another part of the company makes mobile phones for some of the world's best known brands, such as Nokia and Motorola.

Hence it's intriguing that the e6 does NOT use Lithium Ion batteries as do most EV manufacturers, but its own independently developed Iron-Phosphate batteries. Though having only half to two-thirds of the energy density of Li-ion batteries, BYD's Fe battery is claimed to be safer and less harmful to the environment, as it contains no toxic electroytes or heavy metals. It also comes with 10-year warranty and a claimed life of 6000 charging cycles.

Most significantly, the batteries offer greater flexibility of charging solutions for consumers, who can use rapid-charging stations or recharge overnight from the grid using a special charging cabinet which will be installed by China Southern Grid, one of China's largest utility companies in China.

As the BYD automotive company is the child of a battery manufacturer, it is a frontrunner in China's Government-subsidised EV revolution, having launched a dual-mode hybrid on the market in 2008 in the form of the BYD F3DM.

The F3DM was in fact the world's first mass produced plug-in hybrid and had an electric range of 40-60 miles (65 - 100 km) and a quite innovative range extender (using a three-cylinder 1000cc petrol engine for power) that added 300 miles (480 km) to its distance between recharging/refueling.

BYD's electric buses have been on the market for more than twelve months
BYD's electric buses have been on the market for more than twelve months

Last September (2010), BYD began manufacturing a 40ft (12M), long-range, all-electric bus and as China has no alternative but to go the way of electric vehicles (it will choke on its own exhaust fumes if it doesn't), BYD is perfectly positioned to reap the rewards. Indeed, we're not the only one to think that - legendary investor Warren Buffet (via his investment company Berkshire Hathaway) spent US$230 million buying 10% of BYD three years ago.

The e6 comes with a newly developed system dubbed the "BYD-i" which is an in-vehicle, network platform to facilitate what BYD calls the "next generation car-networking infrastructure".

BYD-i uses the driver's docked smartphone connect to the internet and comes with a whole range of services, including to lock and unlock car doors with your phone (even remotely), turn on the air-conditioning a few minutes before driving, a slew of location-based services (using the phone's GPS), search for news, or real-time information (such as stocks, flights, hotel bookings, disaster information, weather ad infinitum), or to communicate directly with a service call center in the case of an accident.

BYD-i is also the centre of the car's entertainment system (DVD, radio, and Mobile Digital TV), it's Voice Navigation System, and the Rear Camera Parking Assistance.

The five-seater will cost Chinese consumers US$38,430 (RMB249,800), though that's after a substantial government subsidy of US$18,000 (RMB120,000), so the unsubsidized price of the e6 begins at US$56,900 (RMB369,800).

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Mark A
Great car China. Thanks for showing GM how to do it. Subsidies help I\'ll bet.
if only other gov\'s(uk) would be as forward thinking as china and subsidise such industries then they to could reap the rewards as well such as boost to empolyment and tax returns once fully fledged as well as having a large local market to sell to...(EU)
re; Solestus China has such a forward looking government that stating dissatisfaction with it can get you forwarded right into the next life. ..............................................................................................................................
In stead of going electric china could invest in catalytic converters and other proven pollution control equipment that would cost less and provide better cars.
William Volk
I\'m curious about the iron-phospate batteries, but this looks like a very smart design. I assume they are saying it has 74 kWh storage?
Slowburn: We\'re in the 21st century. There are no technological excuses now for continuing to have smog and contaminated rivers.
Bruce Crosby
Warren Buffett is a big investor in this company.
Dave Andrews
\"with a (claimed) range of 300 km (186 miles), which would give it the longest range of any EV in the world at present.\"
*What?* The Tesla has been around for a few years now and it has a 250 mile range.
@ Slowburn: Yeah, great idea... Let\'s encourage the 1 billion people in China to all get gasoline cars with catalytic converters. Millions more gas cars on the road is a great idea! You must work for a gas or automotive company. Who else would think that putting more gas cars on the road is a good idea. For that matter, what exactly makes you think that gasoline-driven cars are better? Those ridiculous things they called \"electric cars\" back in the 70\'s were crap, but there are more and more excellent electric cars coming out all the time now. Within a few years, there will be dozens of models, and all of them just as good as gas cars.
Steven Peters
Tesla now achieves a 300 mile range on a single charge with their Model S.
It\'s only a matter of a short period of time that they start implementing nanotechnology batteries in EV\'s, which by doing so, we\'ll be able to charge our cars at 80% capacity (240miles) within 10 minutes. Although not everyone tops off their gas tanks now, so imagine a five minute charge is about 120 miles.
Given that the consensus of drivers commute an average of 40 miles a day, that single 10 minute charge could last almost a week costing about $4.00; not to mention the pollution you won\'t be spewing into the air.
Gas powered vehicles are so last century.
EV\'s are the future - now!
re; Neil
I am advocating neither. Some of the worst smog in the world is in china from their coal powered industry including generating over 68% of china\'s electricity.
re; Dave Andrews
Electric Cars are over weight resulting in bad handling. The batteries are over rated and under performing resulting in their range being significantly less than advertized in the real world. You can not carry a recharge to a \"out of gas\" electric car on a bicycle, which I have done for a ICE car. You can not double the range of an electric car by putting a few batteries in the trunk. you can double the range of a ICE car by putting a few cans of fuel in the trunk, which I have also done. The batteries loose capability as they age markedly reducing the car\'s range well before the battery is considered worn out. Batteries loose energy just sitting, much faster than a sealed tank of gas does. Electric cars cost way to much, requiring government subsidies to sell. A gasoline engine with proper emission controls is cleaner than even a \"clean\" coal electrical power plant. Burning methane, butane, propane, or waste-stream bio-fuels they are even cleaner. Using food as motor fuel is capital S Stupid.
$56,000 for a small electric Chinese car ??...I doubt that they will have any US customers other than the Fed. Govt. who can just put them on its credit card..
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