The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) industry just took a great leap forward as giant Chinese rechargeable battery and auto manufacturer BYD announced the launch of its flagship electric vehicle, the e6, for sale to domestic consumers.
The e6 is well known in China, having previously been marketed as a fleet vehicle. The car is a common choice for taxi cabs, especially in the city of Shenzhen, where the government has ramped up EV infrastructure efforts. The Shenzhen taxi fleet, using BYD’s e6 exclusively, have accumulated over 3.8 million fleet miles — many of these single e6’s with mileage over 100,000 miles, according to BYD.
The consumer e6 is a five-seat, long-range, all-electric cross-over vehicle. BYD claims the e6 has a driving range of over 190 miles, better than any other five-passenger vehicle in its class. The e6 will be equipped with a 75-kilowatt motor that is projected to propel the car at up to 87 mph. The e6 will also use BYD’s new technology iron-phosphate or “Fe” battery. The company said the battery will take a full charge in only 40 minutes if the BYD charger is used.
BYD said it is also deploying some breakthrough technologies and high-end equipment as standard in this model. This launched e6 will implement the newly developed “i” System (also called “BYD-i”). The company said BYD-i allows many vehicle functions to be performed remotely by smartphone and using cloud-data for high-tech driving assistance.
BYD plans to sell the e6 for the unsubsidized price of about $56,900. Consumers in Shenzhen, however, can take advantage of a substantial government subsidy, equivalent to about $18,000, bringing the take-home cost of the vehicle to $38,430.