Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BYD to come early to U.S. EV party

My good friend, Bill Moore of EV World, reports that China's BYD (Build Your Dreams) is planning on bringing their E6 EV to the U.S. market a full year ahead of time to compete with the roll out of Nissan's Leaf and GM's Volt. As reported earlier, BYD is the Chinese battery company that decided to build cars around it's Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. They were the first in the world to begin selling a plug-in hybrid version (only in China so far), and now this pure electric version is expected to hit showrooms in the U.S. some time next year.

Warren Buffet's purchase of 9.9% of BYD last year catapulted the company to global prominence in the car world, especially after BYD stated that it intended to become a world leader in electric vehicles.

The specs on this crossover are pretty remarkable: 0-60 in less than 8 seconds, top speed of 100 mph, and get this, a range of 250 miles. I want to see this for myself, of course, but if it's even close, this is going to be a nice car. Let's hope the fit & finish is decent.

"According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of the car will be $40,000, which seems to be the current "sweet spot" for the first generation of consumer-available electric cars. This is right around the range Coda has been hinting at for their Chinese-made electric sedan."

This figure will be diminished by the $7,500 federal tax credit as well as some state tax credits (check your local listings). Additionally, the low cost of operation allows for even greater savings since electricity is generally sold for the equivalent of less than a dollar a gallon.

I think it's noteworthy that not only are more carmakers getting into the game, but now we're seeing timetables for bringing them to market accelerate. This can only be a good thing.



  1. Wow. This makes me want to start a special account just to save for a my next BEV. This kind of competition is very reassuring. I hope by the time these cars are available to me our state and fed get the message and stops wasting tax money on obvious dead-end technologies. It should be a crime. Maybe it is?
    Thanks Paul for this blog.


  2. Two questions:

    1) any word on what they will use as a dealer network? that has been a big barrier for Chinese car companies breaking into the US market.

    2) are they going to bring the PHEV model (F6DM) too?

    You can read more about BYD here (shameless plug).

  3. Will the E6 EV be available in select markets or the whole U.S.? This indeed is exciting news and one that combines attractive tax incentives/credits.


  4. I'm sure the E6 will be sold mostly on the west coast initially since the market here is getting pretty well indoctrinated on plug-in vehicles. Also, the grid mix in the PacNW is heavy on the hydro and quite cheap relative to the market. Portland and Seattle will be very big EV markets.