Click above for high-res gallery of the BYD e6 crossover

The "BYD" in BYD Autos stands for Build Your Dreams, and this Chinese company is dreaming big huge. BYD is bent on becoming the world's largest automaker, and in order to achieve that goal, it's launched a series of ambitious projects that it hopes will reach the streets before larger, well-established carmakers. At the Detroit Auto Show, BYD stepped onto center stage with plenty of interesting product, including the world's first dual-mode plug-in hybrid. The F3DM was released in BYD's home market earlier this month, and in Detroit it debuted the world's first production plug-in hybrid crossover, the e6. Both vehicles could hit the American and European markets by 2011, but for the time being, they're only available in China.

As we told you last month, all of these impressive developments have been made possible with the help of a $230 million investment from Warren Buffet. The e6 features BYD's "Fe" battery which receive a 50% recharged in a claimed ten minutes. Granted, the remaining 50% requires another hour or so, but half a charge is good for about 125 miles, which should ease customers' range anxiety. The e6 has a simple but pleasant shape and adequate room inside, so if the price is right, it could attract a broad demographic of buyers -- and that's what BYD is counting on. Check the e6's press release is after the jump.

Related GalleryDetroit 2009: BYD E6

Live photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.


PRESS RELEASE

2009 BYD e6

As the latest star in a rapidly expanding portfolio of green, high-tech products, the all-new BYD e6 electric vehicle is being unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The five-passenger e6 will be marketed as a family-oriented crossover vehicle.

The pure-electric e6 features BYD's revolutionary battery technology - what we call the Fe battery. The range per charge is expected to be a remarkable 249mi (400km). Performance is surprisingly brisk, with 0-60mph (0-100km/h) acceleration in less than 8 seconds and a projected top speed of 100mph (160km/h).

The Right Size
What sets the e6 apart from other pure electric vehicles are its size and performance. With current battery capacity limited, most other manufacturers have elected to focus on small, lightweight EVs that stress efficiency over performance and range.

BYD, as a young brand with a rich history of IT development and cutting-edge battery R&D, has the drive and extroverted personality to take an unconventional approach and manufacture cars that embody the company's slogan, Build Your Dreams. That's the spirit and underlying philosophy behind the e6.

The high-tech e6 boasts the exterior dimensions of a typical American family vehicle, with ample interior space that provides substantial legroom and headroom for passengers, plus a generous luggage compartment. The e6 measures 179.3 inches (4554mm) long, 71.7 inches (1822mm) wide and 64.2 inches (1630mm) tall.

Convenient and Eco-Friendly
The pure-electric e6 is environmentally friendly, eliminating toxic emissions and greenhouse gases while driving. BYD's new Fe battery takes this "green" philosophy a step further: All chemical substances used in the battery can be recycled.

And while the range of many electric vehicles is restricted by their battery capacity, making it inconvenient to travel long distances, the BYD e6, with its high-efficiency Fe battery, can go up to 249 miles (400km) on a single charge. That makes the e6 suitable for daily commutes, around-town chores and even long journeys.

The Fe battery pack in the e6 can be quick-charged to 50 percent of itscapacity in 10 minutes, and 100 percent of its capacity in 60 minutes.

 
e6 SPECIFICATIONS

Length in (mm)
179.3 (4554)

Width in (mm)
71.7 (1822)

Height in (mm)
64.2 (1630)

Wheelbase in (mm)
111.4 (2830)

Curb Weight lb (kg)
4453 (2020)

Output hp (kw)
268 (200)

Torque lb-ft (Nm)
406 (550 )

Range mi (km)
249 (400)

0-60mph Acceleration (sec)
< 8s

Top Speed mph (kph)
100 (160)

Recharge Time (quick charge)
50% in 10min