BYD Hopes Super Cheap “Mini” Electric Vehicles Will Spur Sales, Lead To Mass Adoption

3 weeks ago by Mark Kane 14

BYD New Energy Vehicles

BYD hints at its plan of producing new “mini and small-size” electric vehicles to better drive mass adoption of the tech in China.

These kei-sized plug-ins are expected to arrive on the market within two years, specifically marketed as the answer for budget transportation in poorer small towns and villages in China.  In other words, ‘here comes the cheap EVs’!

BYD plug-in electric car sales in China – July 2017

BYD’s Chairman Wang Chuanfu said that tiny EVs could eventually account for 75% of total company New Energy Sales, which means thousands every month.

Electric subcompacts (priced below 100,000 yuan / $15,000) would compete with the booming quadricycle segment of the market in both third- and fourth-tier cities in China.  The advantage of offering a small electric car (over a bike) would be the eligibility for subsidies that quadricycles can’t qualify for.

“BYD’s existing EV models have been selling well in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. But in villages and towns, its cars have faced competition from battery-powered quadricycles.

Low-speed, inexpensive quadricycles are typically priced between 10,000 yuan ($1,500) and 30,000 yuan and have been selling like hotcakes in third- and fourth-tier cities. Major markets include Henan, Hebei and Shandong provinces.

Nationwide, quadricycle sales reached 1.2 million units last year, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers of China. That compared to 240,000 EVs, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Quadricycles have succeeded in part because they can be driven without a driver’s license. Moreover, they do not have to undergo vehicle inspections.”

source: Caixin Global

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14 responses to "BYD Hopes Super Cheap “Mini” Electric Vehicles Will Spur Sales, Lead To Mass Adoption"

  1. Mikael says:

    BYD are selling 10k NEVs per month now. And will probably be closer to 20k per month before these cheap mini electric vehicles hits the roads.

    75% of sales would mean a bare minimum of 30k per month and more likely at least 60k per month.

    60k are technically “thousands” as stated in the article but I would prefer “many tens of thousands” so that the reader doesn’t think ~2k-5k sales per month.

    1. Tom says:

      Hi mikael..what’s your prediction for BYD moving forward? What about the stock price?

      1. Mikael says:

        Considering all their successful bus trials across the globe, how popular their new models being released are and how they are integrated with both their own massive cell production, energy storage and solar PV I can only see it going one way…Up.

        But with the stock rising over 40% this month it might get a bit bumpy before it goes a lot higher.

  2. Warren says:

    This is the most encouraging thing I have read, in the EV press, in ten years. Hopefully, our politicians will allow them here.

    1. Tom says:

      Hi Warren… I’m a shareholder of BYD for several years now and I was wondering can BYD be the leader of their business model ? Also what about the stock price? TIA

      1. Tom says:

        I guess it’s time for me to pick a new screen name. Oh and this isn’t a stock forum.

    2. Mark C says:

      The NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) aka LSV (Low Speed Vehicle) is legal in the US. However, they are restricted in most states to 25 mph top speed and not legal to be operated on streets with speed limits above 35 mph.

      In certain areas, think retirement communities in Florida, they have sold well. Others, not so much.

      1. Asak says:

        The 25 mph limit is really set too low for NEVs to be viable. If they could even do 35 mph and were legal on a 45 mph street then it would be a different story. Then the only place you couldn’t drive would be on the freeway or highway with 55 mph limits. But 45 mph streets are simply too common and being unable to drive on them renders a NEV useless in my area.

        1. TomBrown says:

          I agree- even bicyclists go along on 45 mph roads

  3. super390 says:

    Well, it sounds like these are going to cost about $5000 more than the gas-engined kei-cars that we hear about (as opposed to the quadricycles which are really pathetic by comparison), so the challenge is to improve the value proposition to draw sales from slightly larger subcompacts. I can’t be sure of these numbers because of the incentives. Kei-cars are very limited in top speed, and usually trunk room, compared to subcompacts, and often have 2 or 3 cylinder engines which have good low end torque but not much else. A microcompact EV might be able to win out on all of those angles depending on the layout. So will buyers there respond to a car with the interior space of a Corolla but the exterior dimensions of a Daihatsu?

    1. paul smith says:

      80Kph is fast enough for the smaller towns in China, and if the Chinese government keeps limiting the use of gas and diesel cars the kei sized cars will sell. I has a kei microvan and it was great for around town and on back roads in the country, but useless on highways.

      1. Mikael says:

        It’s perfect for the larger cities of China. Have you ever been there? Most people never go on a highway.

  4. Don Zenga says:

    I think that the 1.2 million sales is the Low Speed EVs which is a proper car with doors and windows and NOT a quadricycle which has no doors and windows.

    But their speed is less than 100 km/h and range is less than 100 km and they use lead acid batteries.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/motoring/2017-02/27/content_28359457.htm

    Its good that a big company like BYD introduces small cars that can seat 4 passengers that are priced affordably without the bells and whistles.

    For such cars, just 25 KWh lithium battery can power the vehicle for 300 km.

  5. SJC says:

    The first car was a quadracycle, nice symmetry.

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