Who needs Long Beach when you have Hangzhou? BYD could happily be asking itself that question after the China city agreed to purchase 2,000 battery-electric buses and 1,000 electric e6 taxis from the China-based vehicle maker. BYD calls the purchase "record-setting" and says it will deliver half of the order of both the buses and the taxis by the end of the year. Hangzhou is located about 110 miles southwest of Shanghai and is home to about 2.5 million people. It's the largest city in Zhejiang P
Translated into American-friendly figures, BYD may as well call its new numeric-driven strategy "5-4-118." Of course, that doesn't have the same ring as "5-4-2." Those are the numbers on which the China-based vehicle maker is basing its performance and efficiency goals for all future vehicle lines, and they are indeed lofty.
For anyone who's not convinced that the auto industry operates on a slow timetable, remember that Mercedes and BYD first teamed up for a Chinese-market electric vehicle in 2010. While we've heard lots about the resulting EV that the Denza brand would make since then, the car wasn't scheduled to hit the market until 2014. At the Beijing Motor Show this week, Denza showed off a production version of the car and said that things are "well on track" for sales in September.
Long Beach, California, has long been known as the Queen City because of the Queen Mary ocean liner that's docked there. A much less elegant situation is happening to Chinese vehicle maker BYD, which had a $12.1-million contract nullified over what BYD says is a technicality.
Remember back in 2008 when BYD (Build Your Dreams) first displayed its fuel saving hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show and later announced plans to begin selling in the US in 2010? A quick glance at any street in the country will provide ample evidence that the Chinese automaker has failed to smother our roadways with low-cost electric and hybrid vehicles. Ditto its buses.
BYD continues to have good news to share about its electric buses. From huge orders (1,200 units!) in China to 30-hour run times in New York City, things seem to be working well for the maker of the EV people mover. The latest batch of good news comes from Copenhagen, Denmark, where BYD says an ebus has managed to drive over 200 miles on a single charge.
Like the stop-an-go nature of the municipal routes its electric buses will be serving, the progression of China-based BYD and its goal to get cities to adopt its vehicles has not been a smooth one. This time, the news is about the city of Long Beach, CA. And it's not all good.
2014 and 2015 are shaping up to be China's time to shine in the plug-in vehicle spotlight. The Tesla Model S is making an appearance. The BYD Denza EV is coming. The China-built version of the Nissan Leaf, the Venucia Morning Wind, will roll off the line. All this is happening just in time, too, since the government has said it wants five million plug-in vehicles on the streets by 2020.
The good news is that the BYD electric buses slated for service in the China city of Dalian will easily be able to go from the factory to the streets on a single charge. Dalian has put an order in for a whopping 1,200 BYD electric buses, which are said to have a single-charge range of about 155 miles. BYD will deliver 600 buses this year and another 600 in 2015. The company has an electric-bus factory in the nearby Dalian Huayuankou Economic Zone.
It's not like the Japanese and European-American automaker contingents can agree upon a fast-charging standard for their electric vehicles, so why bother going along with either of them. That's what the BYD-Daimler partnership may have been thinking, choosing ABB as the standard supplier of fast-charging stations for the upcoming Denza model in China. ABB will use a DC-charging standard called "GBT" that complies with neither the CHAdeMO platform supported by Japanese electric-vehicle makers Nis
We've heard the comment, "the Tesla Model S is a rich man's toy" before. Usually it comes from a Cranky McCrankster-type of character in the Comments beneath posts about the all-electric automobile. Not everyone sees the utility of an expensive car that can seat up to seven, run with Corvettes and only gets 265 miles on a charge. We get that, sort of, and everyone's entitled to their opinion. It's a bit odd, though, hearing the remark fall from the lips of Wang Chuanfu, however.
Don Henley once sang of a New York Minute. When it comes to BYD and the testing of its all-electric buses, though, the time measurement of choice is 30 hours. That's how long buses made by the China-based automaker can run between electric charges, according to recent tests.
Would Beijing residents rather walk than drive a Chinese-made electric vehicle? That appears to be the case, since few of them are applying for EV licenses despite having little chance of getting approved for new conventional vehicles. The trend will do little to help Beijing's position as the world's second-most air-polluted city (after New Delhi, India).
BYD is not pleased with the way China's "new energy vehicle" campaign is being implemented in Shanghai. The Chinese automaker has complained about the way the city is making incentives for its air pollution initiative more available to local companies. The city denies any preference.
Not all of the new vehicles in the world this week were centered at the Detroit Auto Show. Case in point is the BYD Qin Hybrid, which launched in China and will be coming to Europe in about a year (an "early 2015" launch there is planned). This successor to the F3DM has a lot going for it, and should prove a better seller.
Chinese automakers have been making noise about entering the North American market for years, stretching back a decade or more. A combination of factors – from the disjointed nature of the Chinese auto industry to lingering quality issues – have kept that from happening, but the day when Chinese cars roam the Great American Road may finally be upon us.
Chinese automaker BYD is preparing to launch its second-generation Qin plug-in electric hybrid in Costa Rica next year. No details have been released yet on launch date, pricing, warranty or amenities. Sales will commence in Central and South America through what BYD describes as the region's "largest automobile distributors."
There will be no Summertime Blues for the Daimler-BYD electric-vehicle collaboration in 2014. The two companies are still on track to start sales of the Denza EV in China next summer, according to Automotive News. Denza will unveil the production version of the car at next April's Beijing Motor Show.
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