Let’s see – reasonable guesses would be Nissan, Tesla, Mitsubishi, BMW or even VW. After all those are the manufacturers who grab the headlines in the EV space with the LEAF, Model S & X, iMiEV and hybrid Outlander, the i3 or the e-UP and e-Golf. You would of course be mistaken as it is the Chinese company BYD that steals the show.
BYD are most famously known in the west as the company that Warren Buffett (investor extraordinaire) poured a quarter of a billion dollars into some years back. They are primarily a battery company that moved into the EV space and for October 2015 they led the world in EV sales and are also leading in sales to date 2015.
Electric Cars are not the only area BYD have taken on. They are also the biggest electric bus manufacturer in the world and have their sights set on taxi fleets, logistics vehicles, coaches, construction vehicles, waste management vehicles as well as off-road vehicles such as mining, marine ports, airports and warehouse vehicles. Seems their strategy is to simply go after everything.
The company has missed quite a number of deadlines and has cancelled some sales over the years as they continued to develop the e6. It first appeared in 2010 in limited numbers in the city of Shenzhen. Our most recent report on the BYD e6 was in our May newsletter when Uber announced they were purchasing 25 e6s for their Chicago operations. The vehicle has a range of over 300kms but is (at the moment) only sold on a fleet basis.
The 2016 BYD e6 will have a bigger battery (82kWh) and a range over 400kms. It’s reportedly priced at just over US$48,000. With a firm commitment in the EV sector, BYD are building a battery factory to rival that of the Tesla Gigafactory. Early editions of the e6 had some quality control issues. It will be interesting to see how the 2016 e6 stacks up with the slew of second generation vehicles due out next year. Click here for more on the worlds number 1 EV sales company.