BYD E6 – Click above for high-res image gallery
Now that BYD has permission to begin selling its all-electric E6 in China, it is wasting no time getting them out the factory door. If you want to take a ride in one, we suggest you travel to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and call a cab. It might take a few (dozen) tries but eventually, you'll (possibly) get one. Surpassing the early sales of its F3DM hybrid sibling, the Buffet-backed company has already delivered the better part of a 100-vehicle order to the Shenzhen Taxi Company Ltd., part of its strategy to press its 5-seater MPV into cab service and take advantage of a subsidy program offered by its home city meant to help ease the bite of a 300,000 yuan price tag ($43,940 U.S. at today's rates).
While the demand for full-size electric taxis in China may be grow quite strong as cities such as Beijing seek to replace gas-powered fleets, BYD must do a better job of engineering safety into their vehicles. Either that or become better at tamping down rumors such as the one that says an engineer with the company received a (non-fatal) shock and severe burns as he attempted to unplug an e6. Considering this, the E6's price tag and a previous description of the vehicle as being "half-baked", we are beginning to suspect the announced rollout in America later this year will either not happen or be remarkably unsuccessful.