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BYD E6 launched in China for private buyers – 369,000rmb and rising

Published October 26, 2011

In 2018 China Car Times was acquired by Autowise. This article originally appeared on ChinaCarTimes.com.

Updated front grill for 2012

BYD have beat foreign competitors such as Nissan and GM to the finish line in the race to get a pure electric car into the potentially lucrative Chinese market.

BYD initially launched the E6 to fleet and government buyers in mid 2010 which allowed hundreds of E6?s to undergo real world testing as taxis where BYD was able to gain real world feedback on how the car performs. According to BYD, the civilian version of the E6 is greatly upgraded, voice activated navigation, a smart key system, digital TVs and reversing cameras have been added to the E6 as standard equipment, the E6 is also wired up to the internet with a permanent 3G connection which allows E6 owners to remotely unlock or lock their cars and even find it on maps if need be, drivers will also be able to remotely turn on the AC or heating systems ahead of getting to their car make sure its just perfect. BYD have also introduce an OnStar like service for the E6 which allows users to contact emergency services, download maps and receive directions. Under the hood the electric motors can send 450Nm of torque to all four wheels on demand and produces 90kw of power which is roughly on par with a 1.8L naturally aspirated engine producing 120bhp.

Dual charging ports for fast and slow chargers

As for the charging issue, BYD has teamed up with China Southern Power Group to install fast charging facilities in the users home ahead of a mass roll out of charging stations across China.

The E6 taxi fleet was originally set at 50 vehicles in May 2010 but has since expanded to more than 300 vehicles, the original 50 have been on the roads for more than 17 months where they collectively covered more than 6 million kilometers by the middle of October this year, the longest serving member of the E6 fleet has already reached 150,000km (93,000 miles) without any major issues.

BYD have long been considered a leading EV company, their first hybrid vehicle the F3DM was introduced in December 2008, whilst their first electric buses were used during the Universaide event in Shenzhen this year, more than 300 E6?s were used in the event and 200 electric buses from BYD were put in to operation to aid with the event. BYDs E-Bus range recently had its European premier in Belgium and they are also running on the roads in Changsha, Shenzhen and Haikou.

The initial launch price of the E6 at 369,000rmb ($57,000USD) seems high on paper, but as the technology becomes more mature then prices are expected to drop accordingly, also several cities around China are offering substantial subsidies which lower the E6?s prices considerably. Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Hafei, Changchun and Hangzhou have been set aside as test cities by the central government to see if the EV industry can be boosted by healthy subsidies, potential E6 buyers in these cities will receive up to 60,000RMB (nearly $9,500USD) from the local government and a further 60,000rmb from the national government to buy the E6 which lowers the pricing to around 249,800rmb.

What competition does the E6 have right now? It has none. How the E6 sells in China over the next 12 months will be a major indicator of how the market might head in the next few years, a lack of public charging areas maybe a drawback in the early days but with a potential 300km range the E6 wont be leaving users stranded on the way home from work in a hurry. The question remains, does teh average user need a car with a 300km range when something with a 100km range would be better suited to daily city driving? The BYD E6 has proven itself as a taxi fleet car, but can it prove itself to consumers?

Updated front grill for 2012

Dual charging ports for fast and slow chargers

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