BYD e6 Picture

BYD Auto, the Chinese car manufacturer has built the first all-electric crossover car, the BYD e6, which reportedly has a range of about 300 kilometers, meaning about three times longer than any other electric car. It was first tested in China in 2010, when 40 vehicles were used as taxis in the city of Shenzhen. They were first sold to the general public in 2011, two years later than scheduled. It is rumored that the Netherlands are planning a project involving the increased use of alternative energy vehicles, which includes buying 70 of these cars to be used as taxis, much like the experiment in China.

The BYD e6 reaches 60 mph in less than 14 seconds at a maximum speed of 87 mph and a consumption of 21.5 kWh per 100 km. Running the air conditioner or driving up hills will reduce the car’s range to 230-240 kilometers. The manufacturer announced that the American version of the BYD e6 will be, at the consumers’ request, more powerful than the Chinese one, with a 60 kWh battery pack rather than a 48 one. The “Fe” lithium iron phosphate battery is one of the companies’ premium technologies, and all the chemical substances used to build it can be recycled.

The BYD e6 is a 5-seat car intended for family use. Though lacking in a striking design, this car with valences of Ford designs is still good looking, comfortable and functional. Its noticeably longer doors provide easier access inside the car; the front seats are very comfortable, though the electric adjustment only allow them to slide back and forth; no tilting of the backrest is possible. Though the car runs quite smoothly and responds well to commands, the drive train and power electronics make a quite noticeable humming sound that normal hybrids don’t show that easily.

You can drive this car in Normal or Sport mode. Driving in Normal mode limits the acceleration to about 75 horsepower, which can make the car feel heavy and slow. When switching to Sport mode, you have access to 130 horsepower, making the BYD move swiftly in the urban environment. The brake pedal could use more resistance; it’s ideal when driving on smooth pavement, but ride it into uneven ground and it starts to slide. The suspensions aren’t that great either, but the BYD e6 wasn’t built for off-road, it’s a town car. The interior looks great from a distance, but once you’re in the driver seat you start noticing unfinished details and visible wiring. The windshield, door and roof pillars are all equipped with airbags, counting eight in total with the two in the dash. All these details make this an interesting vehicle that on further developing could actually become a competitor for other hybrid manufacturers like General Motors, Nissan or Toyota.

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