Several years ago Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD) committed wholly to green vehicles, specifically EVs and plug-in hybrids. Sales haven’t taken off as fast as the company hoped, but battery technology may have caught up with BYD’s ambitions, with spy shots revealing a vehicle a vehicle that promises 150 miles of driving range per charge.
ChinaCarNews caught these shots of the BYD E5, an all-electric sedan that may look rather boring, but when it debuts in April at the Shanghai Auto Show, it will supposedly offer a driving range of 150 miles per charge at an extremely affordable price. That’s about twice the driving range of cars like the Nissan LEAF, and while its 107 horsepower motor isn’t going to draw any comparisons to the Tesla P85D, it will be good enough for a top speed of around 100 MPH. Plus, it is expected to only cost around $22,000, though whether that’s before or after China’s many generous subsidies and tax breaks, the article doesn’t specify.
China is going all-in with electric cars in an effort to clean up its filthy air. While the BYD E5 may not be a sexy EV like those from more established automakers, it can go farther, and for less money, than many competitors from the likes of Nissan, BMW and GM. The Toyota Prius isn’t particularly pretty either, but it sells better than any other hybrid out there. Looks matter, but so do things like efficiency, and of course price. GM is promising 200 miles of driving range for $30,000 with the Bolt EV, but for almost $10,000 less, the E5 sacrifices just 50 miles of range. Some people would surely save the extra money and go with the cheaper car.
Can the E5 be the breakthrough EV that BYD has been waiting for?