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BYD e6 electric MPV Click above for high-res image gallery

When Chinese automaker BYD's E6 electric crossover hit the stage at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the ambitious automaker announced that the vehicle's production schedule was on track and that U.S. deliveries would get underway by the end of the year. Well, plans frequently change and BYD's dreams of delivering the E6 to American buyers by the end of 2010 isn't going to happen. Even though the E6 has been delayed, there appears to be some indication that the automaker could launch the electric crossover in the U.S. in 2011.

The Wall Street Journal prodded Stella Li, BYD's senior vice president and head of U.S. operations, for info on the E6's delay and reports that:
The holdup was caused by BYD's efforts to make the car roomier, especially its rear-seat area that was cramped thanks to a beefy battery pack that needs to be stored under the seat.
Li provided the WSJ with an updated launch schedule, telling the news outlet that 50 E6 electric cars – all destined for fleet duty – should hit U.S. turf sometime in 2011. Furthermore, Li declared that private buyers interested in the E6 will get a crack at owning one in 2012. We're not going to take bets that BYD's plans won't get derailed again.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lets all say this together: No more Chinese junk here please!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds like a great business plan.

      Bring a company nunknown to American consumers, from a country with products know for poor safety standards and introduce a product with a technology not accepted by consumers yet. Best of luck!
        • 4 Years Ago
        my "n" jumped up a line.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Once these Chinese cars finally come here, the government is going to have a field day picking them apart looking for safety defects.

      You think Toyota had a lot of recalls this year...............
      • 4 Years Ago
      I fear the day Chinese auto manufacturers start importing American or European design talent. Better design applied to their technology - whether developed in-house or "shared" through joint ventures - and efficient manufacturing processes - even if they come at the expense of environmental destruction and substandard living conditions - will pose a real threat to the rest of the world's manufacturers.

      I would like to think that consumers value responsible corporate responsibility, but if a product looks good, packs enough bells and whistles, and undercuts the market, our pocketbooks have proven to outweigh our consciences.
        • 4 Years Ago

        You bring up an interesting point. I was reading an article the other day that detailed the relationship between the Chinese and Russian militaries. For years the Chinese have been buying Russian planes, tanks, missiles, etc. for use in their army. Now they have reverse engineered much of the advanced Russian technology like avionics and jet engines and are undercutting the Russians (who actually designed it) on the world market.

        I don't see why the car market would be any different, the Chinese have zero consideration for intellectual property laws if they stand between them and their economic goals.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Chery, Brilliance, and other Chinese auto firms have used Italian design houses like Bertone, Pininfarina, and (pre-VW buyout) Italdesign for years. The Brilliance BS4/BS6 are designed by Italdesign, and Chery has enlisted Pininfarina to design the A3 and M14.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Never ever ever ever, will I buy a Chinese car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The fan boys of foreign cars will go out and buy these, and say how great they are. The cars might have overhead cams and they`ll say how technically advanced they are over the American OHV engines.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Chinese April Fool's day is in mid December, I suppose.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So we are supposed to believe BYD chose not to launch a fleet vehicle this year because they thought back seat passengers would want more wiggle room? That is a classic.

      On the whole I will judge it when it arrives and I see it. The Chinese do have a couple of advantages going for them. They have had a domestic auto industry for years now with access to everyone else's technology thanks to the joint ventures rules. As a nation they are already the world's manufacturing hub making almost everything else we buy including most of our high tech gear. I haven't seen a Chinese car yet that I would think about buying but I am not ready to write off their ability to make one fairly soon.

      I think one of the largest barriers to the Chinese exporting cars to the US is the already insane trade deficit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, I forgot to mention. Chevy VOLT > this garbage. Chevy Volt FTW!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is just another example of car companies cheaping the hell out on the little details.


      How hard is it to wrap them in black trim-grade vinyl?

      Flush mount glass before and after, but the stupid window frames stick out by not being BLACK.

      Is there something about window frames that need to be shown and obvious?

      Again, this is one of MANY examples of that... and otherwise the only thing that I would be less likely to buy than an electric car, is a chinese-made electric car. Why not just invite a lithium fueled inferno?
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