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