The all-electric E6 took center stage at BYD's press conference today at the Detroit Auto Show. This is an ambitious car from an ambitious automaker, and that internal push means that the E6 is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. later this year. Plans for Europe will be announced later and U.S. pricing for the E6 might be released in late spring.
Over in China, the E6 electric vehicle has passed all crash tests, but that's one hurdle that will need to be jumped here in the U.S. before it arrives. Another change – the switch to a J1772 connector – will be easy to accomplish, Fred Ni, the general manager of BYD Motors America, told AutoblogGreen. BYD executives are not disclosing the cost of the E6's battery, but they are claiming it will last for ten years. The thing weighs 800 kilograms and packs around 60 kWh, which BYD says is good enough to move the car 205 miles on a single charge.
Ni said that BYD wants to be able to respond to market demand. Therefore, if the car is an American hit, BYD could build it in the U.S. someday. If BYD does build cars here, they would probably be both battery-powered and standard ICE powertrain models, he said.
As for the long-term ambition, BYD is looking to the top. While BYD has been around as a battery maker since 1995, the automotive division was established in 2003. The company is now the fourth-largest automaker in China, but that's not enough. BYD's goal is to be the biggest automaker in China by 2015 and, get this, the biggest in the world by 2025. For 2010, the company hopes to sell 800,000 units. How many of them will be E6s to Yankees? We'll find out soon enough.