By on May 19, 2010

You are probably going batty awaiting the American arrival of the all electric Made in China BYD e6. Fret no more: It’s coming! BYD will start selling the plug-in e6 in the U.S. “in 2010,” writes People’s Daily. The price? “Around 40,000 U.S. dollars.”

If you can temper your impatience, you may get it for less. “The selling price is expected to decrease once the production and sales volume increases,” writes the voice of China’s Communist Party.

The car will be sold through the newly established BYD North American sales headquarters in Los Angeles. According to People’s Daily, “the BYD e6 has passed all necessary tests in the U.S.” The charger specs are not quite up to U.S. standards. According to the report, “the super-iron battery can be charged in slow-mode with a 220V power adapter and a 3C adapter in fast charge, filled to 80% within 15 minutes.”

The 3C probably stands to “three cycle,” or “three phase.” A 220V outlet can be quite easily rigged up in your garage. Three phase would be highly unusual.

The all-electric crossover model supposedly will get you “up to 300km” (186m) on one charge of BYD’s “Fe” lithium iron phosphate battery. Its top speed is given as 140km/h (87 mph).

So far, the e6 has been all talk and no action. Two days ago, BYD delivered 40 E6 to a Shenzhen taxi company as part of a field test. By end of June, that number is supposed to climb to 100 e6 taxis.

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26 Comments on “Begging Your Dollars: BYD Coming To America. For $40K...”

  • avatar

    Where are they going to charge it? In Europe there is 230V/400V.
    in the US 120V/208V/240V.
    Nowhere is 220 V (It used to be 220V in Europe, before upgrading to 230V)

    It is easy to get 240 V in your garage when the areas around it are not finished. If the area between panel and garage is already finished, not so easy.

    • 0 avatar

      I Europe we have 220V/380V, but all appliances are built to handle 240V/400V.

      The car should fit most people’s daily needs, but I think the price is too high.
      Even with 200% car tax where I live the tax free EV would cost the same as a Korean compact.

      However, I’m still waiting for a positive crash test of a chinese car. Usually they tend to go origami on the crash test dummies.

    • 0 avatar


      In the US the readily available single phase-paired 208V is colloquially referred to as “220V.”

      UK voltages tend to be a bit higher than the continent (so I am told; I’m a mechanical design/product engineer for electro-mechanical devices which are sold 50/50 US/Europe), thus the 240V rating on many European electronics.

      A non-industrial 3-phase 220V line is nearly unheard of. My dad told me having one installed to a home would cost a fortune and he used to be an electrical project engineer for a power company. Plus, if you’re going to bother with a 3-phase home drop why just 220? See how high they’ll hook you up. If you live near an industrial park a 415v supply might be available.

    • 0 avatar

      The way I heard it is that most of Europe’s single phase was 220 but there were exceptions like the UK which were 240. Then some genius in Belgium decided that this diversity was not acceptable and it should be standardized to 230. In practice though the tolerance on the 230 was wide enough that no-one had to change anything.

  • avatar

    So considering that China makes US automakers give up half of their profits to a Chinese company through a joint venture, we’re going to make BYD do the same thing here, right?

    Who would buy a $40K Chinese car when both the Volt and Nissan Leaf from established manufacturers are expected to come in around the same amount?

    • 0 avatar

      How hard can it be to install a simple 400V outlet?

      Oops I accidentally posted this as a response. So this is not directed at the commenter above, just a general question.

    • 0 avatar


      The Volt isn’t an electric car. It’s a hybrid and thus not a competitor to the BYD. If you want a hybrid, you might as well buy a Prius.

      The Nissan Leaf is a sub-compact. So, the BYD isn’t that expensive, since according to the picture it’s a mid-size and demand the same price as the Leaf.

    • 0 avatar

      You can say that it’s not a competitor, but I would think that people concerned with efficiency and carbon emissions will be considering everything from pure EV to hybrid to turbo diesel. It doesn’t have to be all or none for everyone.

  • avatar

    It has a 48kwh pack, and they can probably afford to drop the price a bit more.

    If driven under 20mph you could probably get over 400 miles of range out of that thing.. there are lots of people clamoring for cheap long range BEVs, lets see if they pony up.

  • avatar

    Generally, AC power voltages around 400 also means three phase. The typical US household has about 115/230 volts single phase. So to run a three phase charger you would have to get your utility company to install your own special three phase transformer, service entrance wiring, and meter. Then you get an electrician to install the three phase breaker box and the high power circuit to the garage. Not cheap!

  • avatar

    As cdotson intimated, installing a 220V outlet in your garage is no big deal. You can do it yourself if you are electrically inclined. As also correctly intimated, getting higher voltage or 3 phase ranges from impossible to very expensive (in the $10K neighborhood).

  • avatar

    So $40,000 for the EV and how much for her? Actually I’d give her a hundred bucks to change out of those “middle aged mom – rise” shorts.

  • avatar

    According to the electricity standard here, there might be a +/-10% difference between the stated voltage (220V) and the actual voltage the device gets. So, the “standard” voltage in Europe is actually 200~240 Volts

    That’s why all, and I do mean all, devices here are made to handle at least 240Volts, and can operate in as low voltages as 200 volts. Just look at HP’s European laptop chargers, they clearly say “240V”

    This used to be a problem with many small American and Japanese electronics manufacturers back in the ’70s-’80s because, being unaware of that small peculiarity of our electricity network, they designed their devices to handle exactly 220V, which resulted in some really smoky PSU burns when 230 or 240 volts hit the plug…

    It wasn’t until the 90’s they started to learn about that, or merge with a bigger company…

  • avatar

    What is 3-phases electricity?

  • avatar

    “BMW has filed trademark registrations for a series of new car names…i1, i2, i3, i4, i5, i6, i7, i8, i9 and E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6, E7, E8, E9…”

    Uh oh…

  • avatar
    George B

    Not that tough to add a high current 240V outlet in the garage. If the BYD electric car can be recharged overnight using 240V, wouldn’t existing 240V wiring be adequate? Not sure about their battery design, but most batteries wear out faster if they are charged at a very fast rate.

  • avatar

    I’m curious about the recycling of all of these batteries from electric cars? Let alone that China is building this? Dare I ask?

  • avatar

    we’ve had this discussion before

    it won’t sell at $40k

    it MAY sell at $20k but it would need a massive warranty AND it has to do something really unique… ie. 200 miles on a single charge

    whether Warren Buffett’s toy company can do something like this on iron phosphate technology is another matter

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Think of alternating current in waves.

    Three phase electricity is analagous to a 3 cylinder engine. For my analogy, let’s use a 2-cycle engine. None of the cylinders fire at the same time on a 3 cylinder, 2 stroke engine, but are 120 degrees out of phase.

    It is more efficient to push more power through lines in 3-phase so this is how it is done, long distance. Most North American homes only have single phase OUTLETS of about 110 volts, but if my memory serves correctly, often times, 2 phases out of the three are sent to the power box in many homes. This helps balance the overall load and also allows 220 volt devices (such as electric clothes dryers, electric stoves, some earlier front loader Bosch washing machines sold in the USA, welders in a guy’s garage, etc.)

    When the electrical lay-out of a home is done, the electrician normally will try his or her best to balance the load between the two hot wires coming into the house. This helps in keeping the power company’s meter more honest and less liable to cheat the customers, as a side benefit.

    For more information which will go both over your head and mine, go here:

  • avatar


    “3C adapter in fast charge, filled to 80% within 15 minutes”

    “It has a 48kwh pack”

    So if we assume the charging is from 20% to 80% that’s 60% of 48 kW-hr or 28.8 kW-hr. 28.8 kW-hr in 15 minutes is 115.2 kW. For comparison my house (gas heated) is 240 volts and 100 amps and so is 24 kW maximum.

    So the 3C charger has a power input equal to five houses! Now we are going to have a bunch of these charging stations at office buildings, parking meters, shopping centers. Anyone else see a problem here?

    • 0 avatar

      If it only takes 15 minutes to charge, I don’t see the problem. You don’t need chargers everywhere you park, you need charging stations, just like we now have gas stations. Yeah, takes 15 minutes to fill up instead of 5. Most of the time you’d charge up overnight at home, so no big deal.

  • avatar

    How’s the crash test on this thing? I saw those Brillance’s crash tests and I am wary of Chinese auto.

    Meh, if it come with that girl then, I guess, maybe I’ll buy it. ^_^

    All up coming EVs are ugly, if I have to buy one, I mind as well buy the one I have stocks in, Nissan.

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