By on March 8, 2010


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.

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8 Comments on “China Invades Europe, Again...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    How much you want to bet that the standards BYD is going to have to pass will be (quietly) a bit higher than, say, BMW?

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Come on – everyone here at TTAC knows that safety is for pussies, and real men are skilled enough not to get into accidents in the first place. Sheesh!

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Just a minor and entirely understandable correction, Cammy. The batteries that BYD have self-developed are Lithim Iron. Not Lithium Ion. Li-Fe, Lithium Iron. And yes, they are cheap to make and apparently patented worldwide (in other words, the Chinese don’t mind at all stealing intellectual property but expect legal protection on their own ideas worldwide). There’s an H-word that I’m sure we could all think of here….

    Interestingly that BYD is currently one of the worst thieves of intellectual property pertaining to auto designs; their best selling F3 is a complete rip-off of the prior-generation Toyota Corolla sedans (plus they sawed off the trunk and made a hatch version), and their F6 is a complete rip-off of the prior-generation Honda Accord.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Just like the Volt, I’ll believe it all when I see it.

    The picture though, I can’t decide if it looks like a still from a bad James Bond film or if those models look like they’re dressed for a revival of “The Avengers.”

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Some very interesting insights on BYD’s business practices, plus the reliability of performance figures related to the E6 here:
    http://www.chinacartimes.com/2010/02/11/the-%E2%80%98truth-about-byd-replication-cost-cutting-and-car-production/

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    The EU could always pull a “Tengzhong”…choking BYD in red tape indefinitely, preventing it from going on sale. Heck, if China’s government can dictate the composition of its automotive industry, why can’t the Euros?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    I saw the E6 in Geneva, and couldn’t at all fathom why it had to have a third-world interior. I’m talking about super-cheap and super-unattractive. Like, not just hard plastics, but *really shiny* hard plastics. This is on the level of car manufacturing in Uzbekistan, not Malaysia. The battery technology might be first-class (who knows at this point?) but the rest of the product has an untrustworthy aura, if you asked me.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    So, Martin, one has to wonder if Chrysler will be buying these and selling them as Dodge Electro-Journey MPV’s, then, given that the average Chrysler/Dodge/”Ram”/Jeep dealer is pretty used to such plastic on interiors!!!


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