First 10 Electric BYD Private Hire Cars Launched in London

FEB 15 2014 BY MARK KANE 34

BYD e6 passing the Big Ben

BYD e6 passing the Big Ben

As previously announced, private-hire chauffeur operator Thriev has launched a fleet of zero-emissions, fully-electric BYD e6 cars in London.

The first 10 out of 20 have already gone into service and are charging at the brand new British Gas charging network.

“Thriev offers low-cost, zero-emission, chauffeured vehicles to corporate and private users in London. The BYD e6 is ideally suited for private hire operations, providing a range of up to 300 km(186 miles) and the 20 private hire cars will be able to be recharged both at the depot and on the road thanks to British Gas.”

According to the press release, at Thriev’s Edgware Road facility the first rapid chargers made by BYD were installed, which enable the BYD e6 to recharge to 80% in just 30 minutes. Those chargers must be high power, because the e6 has over a 60 kWh battery pack.

Thriev offers a booking app for smartphones, so hiring an electric taxi should be now be much easier.

“The app, available for Apple and Android devices, allows customers to book a car in just three clicks. GPS allows the vehicle to be tracked in real-time on a map and the app also retains a history of previous reservations in the last 30 days for expense management and allows users to quickly rebook a repeat trip.”

Arvind Vij, CEO and a co-founder of Thriev, stated:

“We are delighted to see the new BYD e6 private hire vehicles, which feature our unique branding, go into service in London. Thriev offers its customers a true revolution in transport, using modern technology to offer private hire services. Ultimately, our aim is to provide a zero emission and cost effective alternative to private car ownership in congested large cities like London.”

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, commented:

“It is great to see our e6 on the roads of London in private hire service only a matter of weeks after we became the first manufacturer to have fully-electric buses in operation in the capital, too. We are delighted to be working with Thriev, which shares our vision to provide safe, reliable and efficient green transport in cities.”

Andreas Atkins, Head of Electric Vehicle Services at British Gas, remarked:

“Innovations like Thriev make it possible for us to travel around with the best of both worlds, making major reductions in our carbon footprints and saving money at the same time. We’re aiming to convert 10% of our fleet to electric vehicles by 2015, and we’re glad to be helping other businesses to do the same.”

Categories: BYD


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34 Comments on "First 10 Electric BYD Private Hire Cars Launched in London"

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60kwh battery

Only 120 EPA mile. Wtf

Worst ev ever

The battery chemistry they use, lithium iron phosphate, is very safe, cheap, and also tough, so it stands up better than most to repeated fast charging. Unfortunately it also has a rather low energy density, so that they are fighting a losing battle for range when they increase battery size. Its not all been plain sailing where these taxis are in extensive use: ‘While there are express stations that can charge the vehicles within one and a half hours, doing so cuts battery life in half, and simply queuing up at an express station is a process that can take nearly three hours. Furthermore, while freshly charged electric taxis can travel about 150 kilometres, many drivers noted that in the colder autumn and winter months, using the car’s heater would seriously affect power consumption and require a recharge after ever 60 to 80 kilometres. In order to combat battery depletion, some drivers have chosen to restrict their routes in order to ensure that a charging station is always within reach. Others have begun rejecting passengers if the requested destination is too far away.’ Replacing the battery pack is going to be expensive, even though it is relatively cheap per… Read more »

Whatever worst ev

It even worse than 1990 gm ev1

The point is that with the possible exception of if Tesla decided to make a taxi using their Panasonic batteries we don’t currently have a battery chemistry able to do the job properly of running a BEV taxi.

What Nissan Zoe imev … Far better than this car

The battery doesn’t have the range when carrying taxi loads, and does not like being fast charged.

Leaf 24 kWh battery

Can run 84 EPA mile

Much much much better than this one

The Leaf is not going to do 84 miles in taxi work.
I don’t know where you get your range figures for the BYD taxi under EPA from.
As Jouni says the low range for Shanghai quoted may well be for the 40kwh pack, and although I question whether even the 60kwh pack is really good enough for taxi work, it is way better than using the Leaf, with a battery pack which notoriously does not like being fast charge and has a much lower cycle life even before you start doing that.

EV fan:
U cannot apparently write comprehensible English, instead of tweeting.
If you have references to the EPA ratings, please provide them.

However, it appears that you have become confused between estimated miles per gallon equivalent and range:

‘Interestingly, the 2012 e6 is already listed on the EPA’s mpg ratings website. The official ratings are 60 MPGe city, 64 MPGe highway, and 62 MPGe combined, putting the Chinese car at the bottom of the EV efficiency rankings.

However, the e6’s 122-mile range is impressive, topping everything short of a Tesla Model S’

This appears to be the version with the 48kwh battery pack.

You can not do a goog, every car’s mpge can very easily to get on EPA’website

And your math ability is worse than a high school student

62 mpge = 54 kWh per 100 miles

it can run 120 miles

Then you said it has a 48 kWh battery


Thank you for the link to the EPA website.
The information on the battery size seems to vary according to where you look.
Since you are either not prepared or unable to communicate in English, I have no further interest in continuing the dialogue.


based on epa test this is worst ev car ever

How do you get 5 people + badges into a GM EV1?

Ok it is better than ev1 in some areas


To queue on fast charger is not an EV related problem, but it refers to insufficient charging infrastructure. This is fixed on time.

150 km range, probably refers to first gen BYD e6 that had smaller c. 40 kWh battery. New e6 can have about 270 km range (300 km in ideal conditions). And 200–220 km after 80 % charge.

As cold weather performance is especially problematic for Shanghai Taxis that mostly sits in the traffic jam, it would be good idea to install ethanol/methanol/kerosene burning auxiliary heater. This would save considerably range on cold conditions. BYD electric busses already has Diesel heater and low volume Volvo C3 EV has optional ethanol heater.

Chinese taxi drivers often decline for longer distance trips. E.g. I have been several times declined Taxi trip to 13 km outside city center, because it is illegal to give additional tip for the taxi drivers and longer trips are less profitable.

Therefore modern battery technology is plenty good for any purposes. Only problem is the high cost of batteries. But this should be fixed with economy of scale.

Are u kidding me

EPA test it’s 75kwh version

Only 120 mile



You place undue reliance on Wiki

In Shanghai I would doubt that it is the cold that is the problem. It is more probably the heat, and running the air con all the time.
The London climate solves that problem pretty nicely, although a heat pump for air con would help considerably.

I think the article I linked is probably too pessimistic, and a combination of using the larger 60kwh battery pack and installing enough fast charge points, where the different standards are perhaps a bit more of a pain than you have indicated as if possible they will want to avoid always having to return to base.

It seems possible however that they will chose to equip London versions with a different charger.

The reduction is life of battery due to fast charging is a fact of life.
However the huge longevity of the chemistry should make that economic enough.

What do they use to fastcharge? CCS?

China Chademo.

Just check EPA website

It’s 75 kWh version can get 122 EPA miles not 60 kWh version

What a worst ev lol

There is no 75 kWh version of BYD e6. You are again confusing the electric motor power rating that is 75 kW to battery capacity that is 60 kWh.


Even 60 kWh. 120 EPA mile also worst ev ever

Wikipedia has specs for old version of BYD e6. (and they are also wrong, because in old version battery had only 40 kWh capacity. that 120 miles EPA, is for old version that had 40 kWh battery.

Mpge is around than 60 with

How can you get it’s version is 40 kWh lol

What’s the difference between a private-hire chauffeur operator and a taxi?

BYD (and China) use their own fast charging standard. It’s DC at 100 kW. So there is another competetor to the global charging standard turf war that will emerge.

Mostly that private-hire can’t use taxi ranks, and I have a vague idea that they may not be able to pull over if hailed in the street, but can only respond to calls.
That may be in error though.

It was just a bit confusing for a few seconds before I realised that “private-hire chauffeur operator” was just a fancy way to say pre-ordered taxi.

Is it common with private-hire chauffeur companies? Or do you normally call a regular taxi company (like I’m used to)?

I don’t normally catch either, but I would guess that they are probably a bit cheaper than regular taxis, as the latter are heavily regulated.

Different fast charging standards are no problem, because it is not expensive to have four different charging cords at charging station.

I’m sure ABB will love to be able to charge more for the charging stations. Of course you will pay more for 4 standards instead of 1.

And it’s not as simple as just adding a few charging cords. It’s different protocols (and license costs for using it), electronics and controllers.

It would be interesting to see the price difference between a ABB Terra 51 and a Terra 53 CJG.

I doubt China has much interest to export their charging standard. Main reason for the national standard was, that all related patents are owned by Chinese national companies and institutes and they can make changes to it any time without caring about foreign opinions.
China has also their own DVD video standard since ten years and they are not exporting it.

Well… Maybe not… but China today and China 10 years ago are very different. They are more and more looking to the outside world and how they can influence it. And their car business is legit and they have a chance to be market leaders, unlike the DVD business which had a lot of other reasons involved for making their own standard.