BYTON Spills Details With Us At CES


BYTON Concept SUV unveiled at CES

BYTON made their world debut yesterday at CES in Las Vegas, formally introducing the concept of their first car, due to launch in China in late 2019, followed by the U.S. and Europe in 2020.

In doing so, they have joined the list of upstart electric car companies like Faraday Future & Lucid Air who have promised to deliver a revolutionary vehicle. Both companies have had difficulty, mostly financial, in their quest to bring their respective vehicles to market so far.

Will BYTON be the one to make it? Only time will tell. The one thing I can say is they seem to be better organized and are stacked with highly experienced and well respected automotive professionals. Readers here may remember back in 2016 we reported that high level BMW i executives left to join a new automotive company being formed in China.  BYTON is that company.

There’s some hints of the Lucid Air in the nose of BYTON’s concept SUV

BYTON stated that the car will come in two versions, one rear wheel drive with a 71 kilowatt-hour battery pack good for 250 miles, and a second that is all-wheel drive with a 95 kilowatt-hour battery pack that can go 325 miles. The range estimates are based on the NEDC range test protocol, so the actual real world range will be less. The 71 kWh model will have a base MSRP of $45,000, pricing for the 95 kWh model was not disclosed.


The concept SUV is packed with technology. It uses facial recognition to initiate personalized settings for each driver, will have 5G connectivity, uses Amazon Alexa as the vehicle’s personal assistant, and has a 8″ touchscreen tablet built into the steering wheel in addition to the massive display that’s 10″ tall and stretches across the entire dashboard.

BYTON promises the car will launch with Level 3 Autonomous driving features, but include the hardware for Level 4, which will be available in 2020. To put that into perspective, Tesla is currently using Level 2 Autonomous features. Level 5 is fully autonomous, without the need for human intervention. For a full explanation of the five levels of autonomous driving, follow this link.

BYTON’s flexible architecture will allow them to make multiple vehicles using the same platform. Following production of the SUV we saw today will be a sedan and a 7-seat multi-purpose vehicle. DC Fast charging will use the Combo (CCS) connector in the US and Europe, and charging times will take 30 minutes to achieve 80% state of charge.

One of the more ambitions features was the vehicle’s iHealth component. The car will have the ability to sync with your fitness wearable devices, tracking  your heart rate, weight, oxygen saturation and blood pressure. It will then have the ability to offer “meaningful advice” based on your current condition.

BYTON’s rear seating area

While BYTON’s home office in in China, their global design studio in in Munich, Germany. That’s also where they hand-built the three concepts here on display at CES. Meanwhile, R&D, software development and autonomous drive systems are designed at their Santa Clara offices in California.

Byton will be using CCS for DC Fast charge in the US & Europe

After the main press conference, co-founders Daniel Kirchert and Carsten Breitfeld held a private Q & A session for about an hour. We learned that BYTON is designing their cars to be upgradable with better software and hardware as it becomes available, including new, improved battery packs. The first round of funding raised 240 million, and BYTON has yet to secure all of the permits necessary to build cars in China, although Kirchert didn’t seem worried by that fact.

BYTON’s founders Daniel Kirchert and Carston Breitfeld answering questions after the press conference

Does BYTON have what it takes to make it to production? It’s really too early to tell. I’m going to get some time driving one of their cars later today, and will report back with my thoughts on that experience shortly thereafter. Perhaps driving in the car will give me a better idea of where the company stands.

BYTON co-founder Carsten Breitfeld explains the facial recognition system

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11 Comments on "BYTON Spills Details With Us At CES"

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Is it just me or does that look like a rebadged FF91?

Yes, all these new EV startups look very similar.

The only resemblance I see is an extreme focus on electronic nicknacks.

No doubt right. It ties in with my fitness monitor and then gives “meaningful advice”.

How about they just build the dang car and forget all the unnecessary crap.

Looks like the article left out some of the juiciest bits: price supposed to start at $45K and 80% charging in 30 minutes.

Of course this is just a concept so any numbers attributed to it are pretty meaningless…

Good luck to Byron and all of the Chinese based BEV startups but so far their is only one that has reached production… NIO…
I do like the fact that NIO outsourced their production to JAC instead of spending billions on a new factory…
I also think their is a limited market world wide and even in China for all of theseason startups who have similar plans, similar SUVs, and similar business models…
I think it would be good if at least one aimed at the bottom of the market…
In the time frame these are coming out the established manufactures will be competing with them in the same segments…
There is also a couple of Chinese ones that are currently plugin hybrids they will have to face in Lynn and Co and also Bogwards who is currently selling in China and is starting a factory in Germany…

Sort of has a Jaguar iPace look about it.

Vehicle’s height is lower than the woman standing next to it, so it should be only between 1,500 mm – 1,550 mm (60 – 62 inches) in height which put’s it in same dimensions as Leaf. But it’s starting range of 400 km (250 miles) is just above as Leaf’s long range model which will have 350 km (220 miles). So we cannot compare it to Leaf

Neither we can compare with Model-X which is a 7 seater while this Byton is a 4 seater.

Say it with me folks…

Until it’s available in Pennsylvania, it’s vaporware to me.