BYD Introduction of Electric Vehicles in the Vans Beijing

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
byd introduction of electric vehicles in the vans beijing

An internet website called Autoblog is reporting (through the hilarious power of Google translate) that Chinese battery firm BYD will unveil a plug-in EV minivan next week. The e6 strikes the Autoblog crew as reminiscent of a J-Market Honda Odyssey. On the whole, you have to admit the comparison reflects pretty well on a company that was building cell phone batteries not so long ago. But enough of my gushing, on to the stats: 186 mile range on full charge (220V), 0-62 in 10 seconds, and a top speed of 99 mph. Details on the recharging process are "dodgy," as Autoblog calls the translated hilarity. "The battery slowly filling civilian 220 V power supply; fast charge for the three C rechargeable battery, about 15 minutes can be a battery 80%," is the official word. But don't worry, the safety is fine. "The car carrying iron batteries at high temperatures, high pressure, impact tests testing, safety performance is very good, will not be explosions." Autoblog gives BYD the benefit of the considerable doubt, by assuming these "iron batteries" which "will not be explosions" are, in fact, lithium ion batteries. Why don't we all just wait until it gets an official launch in Beijing next week? After all, "e6 will be one or two years before the formal launch…"

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  • Menno Menno on Apr 18, 2008

    Apparently, the batteries are actually Li Fe (Lithium IRON) batteries, actually originated and invented by BYD, from what I understand from prior information that I've read elsewhere (in somewhat-properly translated English). I've been watching this company and out of all of the Chinese companies, despite the fact that they are still currently "copiers" of actual bodyshell designs, they seem to have the most forward-thinking electric and electric hybrid technology (logically enough, because they started out in the cell phone battery business). Would I buy one? Well, out of all of the Chinese car companies, there are some caveats to my saying "yes" instead of easily just saying "NO WAY" -Clearly passing the US and European crash tests with at least average to better than average scores -Having a properly set-up dealer network and dealer close at hand to where I live -Pricing in a range of a competitive car (for a hybrid, perhaps 10% less than Prius, for a full electric, perhaps no more than 20% more than Prius) -For an electric, winter driving capabilities and range (and HEAT and DEFROST) Even then, I might be more willing to buy after the BYD people have put forward a 2nd generation of car (I waited for Toyota's 2004-on Prius before I bought one, so if I was uncertain about Toyota - with the 2nd best reliability in the auto industry worldwide - I would obviously have to put the same constraints on an unknown company) -Eventually, I would want to see BYD putting factories in nations where they actually sell these cars (aka "transplants") including the US. For that matter; how about western Michigan? A big mountain for BYD to climb. But, isn't it the Chinese who first said "the journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step" and it looks like BYD have taken multiple steps, already. Kudos to them if they pull it off. I've also read that they are more than willing to supply other auto companies - logically enough, this will benefit them and the supplied company, by increasing production/reducing costs.

  • Derek Derek on Apr 18, 2008

    It is significant that all we see emerging from China on the EV front are artists' renditions.