Even since Landwind crash test, and the Brilliance crash test, the reputation of Chinese cars in Europe has been a little, shall we say, challenging. Watching the bonnet of a car crumble like Professor Gilbert’s theory on Toyota’s UA tofu does have its effect on prospective customers.
But none of this seems to worry BYD. Europe is their next target. Autocar reports that BYD, the maker of China’s biggest selling car, the F3, will be coming to Europe in 2011. Not with their bestselling F3, but with a pure electric E6. The car was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show.
The car is planned to be powered by a 101bhp electric motor, with 332lb ft of torque, linked up to BYD’s own lithium ion batteries. The 0-62mph time will be 14 seconds (so, best not try to out-drag that Ford Focus ST sitting next to you at the traffic lights) and have a top speed of 87mph (So, no trips to the Nürburgring Nordschleife). It will, however, (according to BYD) do 200 miles on a single charge. UK customers can also look forward to BYD’s F3DM, a small saloon which was the world’s first plug-in hybrid. It uses lithium phosphate batteries and has an electric range of 60 miles. All this sounds good, but what are the safety ratings going to be on these cars? Well, they must pass European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), and tofumobiles stand no chance in Europe. Here, they check before admitting the car.