Even though BYD has produced and/or sold almost 2,500 all-electric e6 sedans worldwide (most in China) since the car launched in 2010, in the US we know them as the company that makes outrages claims and then doesn't follow through.
The e6 was to come to market in the US for 2010, with some fantastical specs along in tow (249 miles of range, 0-60 in under 8 seconds), and obviously, that did not happen. An expected 2010 arrival turned into 2011, then to 2012, then to early 2013...poor US infrastructure was reportedly to blame.
The e6 Can Get A Full Charge In As Little Has 40 Mins (@ 100 kW), 20 Hours at 3.3 kW (On Board)
And by the time the e6 actually hit roads in China (May of 2010), BYD's range claim was down to 186 miles, with the car in getting more like 140-150 miles of real world range from a 48 kWh battery pack, and a 0-60 time of about 14 seconds. BYD has promised better things for the US model (notably a 60 kWh pack), whenever it goes on sale.
But lets never-mind all that, because now the company states that the battery will retain 75% of its original capacity after 1,000,000 kilometers (621,000 miles):
"BYD’s pure electric vehicles use an Iron-Phosphate (or Fe) battery, which touts industry-leading safety qualifications and superior life. The battery maintains high-performance capabilities over long periods of use and can stably withstand extreme conditions. Taking the e6 pure electric vehicle as an example, after 4,000 charging cycles, the capacity of the battery remains still remains at above 75% of its original capacity, and the total mileage can reach over one million (1,000,000) km."
BYD e6 Interior Is Well Appointed
We attempted to do a little research to find out the 'secret sauce' behind this unbelievable retained capacity, but it appears to be no different that the standard LiFePO4 chemistry at work here today in the US in the Fisker Karma.
2012 BYD e6 EPA Ratings (click to enlarge)
Better still, BYD says they have road-proven e6s backing up this claim to some degree, 800 of them in fact as taxis in Shenzhen, China (along with 200 K9 buses), that are showing no signs of capacity loss after more than 70,000 km of use on average. In one particular case, over 300,000 km (186,000 miles) has been logged.
"Since 2010, BYD has conducted its electric vehicle commercial operations on a large scale. As of the end of February this year, BYD had rolled out 800, e6 pure electric taxis in Shenzhen, accumulating close to fifty-five million (55M) km in total mileage. The mileage of a single electric taxi is well over 300,000 km, which is equivalent to the total mileage accumulated in more than 10 years of driving an average private car. 200 K9 pure electric buses have been running in Shenzhen and have exceeded fourteen million (14M) km in total mileage, which means each vehicle has reached over 110,000 km on average. These electric vehicles are operating steadily, without any apparent reduction in performance."
So, while we would love to believe a good-news story like this, we have some trepidation at taking BYD at their word.
BYD says they will build 8,000 e6s in 2013, and despite already having an official EPA rating here in the US (for the 2012 model year...a segment worst MPGe rating of 62), it does not appear the company is looking to sell any here during the year.
We guess there is always next year.
2013 BYD e6 Specs (Don't blame us on the light colored, pica font at play...that s all BYD's doing)i