Published on April 16th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BYD Electric Car From China Shows Green Potential
Last year, Chinese automaker BYD sold more highway-capable electric cars and plug-in hybrids than any other company in the world. BYD is thriving in its home market with where last year alone the company sold an impressive 61,772 electric cars and plug-in hybrids in China alone, which is more than Nissan, Tesla, or General Motors did globally.
Well, ok, the vast majority of those cars were sold in China, where the government is aggressively pursuing greater electric-car adoption, but still, Nissan, Tesla and GM have a strong presence in Chinaand are selling electric cars also…..but not as much as BYD.
Aiming to expand on that success for 2016, BYD is introducing two new electric cars for the Chinese market. The BYD Qin EV300 and e5 are meant to further broaden BYD’s Chinese lineup, but like other BYD plug-in models, they likely won’t be sold in the U.S.
The Qin (pronounced “chin”) EV300 appears to be an all-electric version of the Qin plug-in hybrid first glimpsed at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
The plug-in hybrid version has been on sale in China for a few years, as well as Costa Rica. The car itself is based on the BYD F3, a compact sedan that resembles older versions of the Toyota Corolla.
The all-electric EV300 has a 160-kilowatt (80-horsepower) motor that also produces 228 pound-feet of torque. That will get the Qin EV300 from 0 to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds, BYD says.
BYD claims a 300-kilometer (186-mile) range as measured on the Chinese testing cycle. An equivalent U.S. EPA-cycle figure would likely be lower. The company even claims that a “potential customer” achieved 349.5 kilometers (217 miles) during a test drive, but it may be wise to take that with a grain of salt.
The Qin EV300 also features a special air-purification system, a useful option giving China’s notoriously poor air quality.
BYD had less to say about the e5, noting only that it has the same 186-mile range as the Qin EV300. The e5 is based on the gasoline BYD Sui Rui sedan, and uses the same powertrain as the Qin EV300. It’s “basically a cheaper and less fancy” version of the Qin EV300. Both vehicles can discharge electricity to help power houses during blackouts, BYD says.
Pricing in China starts at 259,800 yuan (USD40,000) for the Qin EV300, and 229,800 (USD35,000) for the e5. BYD launched the world’s first production plug-in hybrid, the F3DM in 2008, but only recently achieved tangible success with plug-in cars. BYD also manufacturers electric busses.