BYD E6 All-Electric Crossover Vehicle (Review 2014/2015)

Written By: Nick R.

Edited By: Assen Gueorguiev

Is BYD's E6 Really Going to Change the World?  

                                                                 BYD E6 All-Electric

There’s a new car on the market you’ve probably never heard of: it’s called the BYD E6, and its makers and many others do believe it can change the world.

The E6, the product of joint venture between Diamler AG and the Chinese BYD Auto, is an electric vehicle that actually delivers on the long-sought but seldom-encountered promise of the next generation of automobiles. This car can drive almost 200 miles on a single charge, and it charges in just two hours. With zero emissions, zero gasoline, and an immaculate safety record, the BYD E6 has traditional manufacturers shaking in their boots.

If your eyebrows are raised, you’re not alone. The E6 has been turning heads since day one. Previous electric cars have all suffered from limitations like poor batteries, underwhelming performance, and weak reliability, but the E6 is different. With a top speed of roughly 87 miles per hour, this car can compete with entry-level sedans like the Corolla and the Accord. It’s speedy charging time and ability to recapture kinetic energy when braking and turning add to its range, and its 10-year warranty gives customers confidence in this new breed of all-electric vehicles.

But the real promise of the BYD E6 isn’t just locked up under the hood—you can see it in the cabin. Most electric cars have tried to compete with traditional manufacturers on range and speed by trading size for performance. Those adorable little smart cars you see squeezing into parking spaces in downtown traffic are energy-efficient, but they just aren’t practical for a family car. That’s why BYD is changing the electric car game by offering a completely gas-free vehicle that can actually hold five people plus the family dog without compromising on performance.

Measuring 179.5 inches long, the latest model of the E6 is almost the same size as Honda’s CR-V. In other words, this is a car that soccer moms, hockey dads, and, you know, actual people might like to drive. And unlike those other diminutive electric cars, the E6 is actually large enough to protect passengers in the event of an accident. It can even shut itself down if it detects a problem with the battery or other electrical system.

BYD E-6 All-Electric

Of course, the E6 isn’t perfect—at least not yet. Its 186-mile range isn’t quite up to snuff with its gasoline-powered competitors, and while 87 miles per hour is nothing to sneeze at, it’s slow enough to make a difference on the open road. But despite the shortcomings, this car still offers a 5-seat, full-size sedan experience for a price tag much smaller than that of competitors like Tesla. And, naturally, it saves bushels of money on gas (i.e. lack of).

If your mouth is watering for an all-electric vehicle that offers practical value as a family car, you may have to wait. Despite backing from American financier Warren Buffet, the E6 isn’t available for sale to individuals in the United States. Despite BYD’s position as the largest electrical car manufacturer in China, the E6 is only available in the U.S. on a trial basis for municipal taxi fleets.

The wait won’t be forever, though. Strong evidence suggests that BYD vehicles will be on the American market by the end of 2015 at the latest. The company’s success with taxi and other transportation companies in China, indicates that global expansion is not too far on the horizon. Thousands of Hong Kong taxis are already rolling off BYD’s assembly lines, and the fuel savings are simply too great for foreign markets to ignore. That, combined with political pressure in the Unites States to provide alternatives to gas-guzzling American brands, is sure to create a niche for innovative designs. The company even plans to start manufacturing in California in the near future.

Even more promising for American buyers, rumor has it that BYD even has plans to collaborate with American rental giant Hertz. That move that could introduce American consumers to the energy-efficient E6 without requiring a massive marketing campaign. If the Hertz plan moves forward in 2015, you might be able to test-drive an all-electric BYD vehicle before the end of year. If industry reports are true, the 2015 model will zoom from 0 to 60 in only 4.9 seconds. No wonder consumers in Asia have been fawning over this innovative new vehicle for years.