BYTON's CEO Daniel Kirchert takes a little time off of running the company to record a video that show's off the skateboard platform of Byton upcoming M-BYTE SUV.
Kirchert explains that BYTON is about two months away from making their first prototypes of the production-version M-Byte, and that the skateboard platform shown in the video is indeed production intent. Deliveries for the Chinese market are still said to be on track for the end of 2019. US deliveries are planned to begin in Q3 2020.
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Kirchert further goes onto explain how the M-Byte's steering column is different than in any other car because it needs to support the in-wheel touchscreen display, which remains static as the wheel turns around it.
The M-Byte will come standard with a 71 kWh battery pack, but also have an optional 95 kWh pack, which Kirchert says will offer the M-Byte a 520km (323 mi) range. We're not sure which range test cycle they are using for that estimate, but it's unlikely the M-Byte will come close to 323 miles on the EPA 5-cycle test.
For comparison, the Audi e-Tron also has a 95 kWh battery and is rated at 204 miles on the EPA rating. Also, the Jaguar I-Pace has a slightly smaller 90 kWh pack, but it's also a smaller vehicle and has a 234 mi EPA range rating. Finally, the Tesla Model X has a 100 kWh battery and a 250 mi EPA range.
This points to the possibility that BYTON used the less-realistic NEDC range rating to offer their range estimates, instead of the newer WLTP, which is much more accurate. If so, that would indicate the 95 kWh M-Byte may actually be closer to offering about 225 miles of range. Guest contributor David Roper recently did a very informative article for InsideEVs on how to compare NEDC, WLTP & EPA range estimates.
For us it's very important to get the product right in the beginning, so we will spend enough time to make sure the quality is right. Because we want from the beginning, to deliver a great product, with great quality - BYTON CEO, Daniel Kirchert
Kirchert also talks about the different steps leading up to actual production and how important every step is in order to make sure the vehicle doesn't launch before it's ready. The video was recorded in one of the buildings at BYTON's Nanjing manufacturing facility, which InsideEVs had the opportunity to visit in July of 2018. We've recently been invited back to check out their progress later in the year when they have production vehicles on hand for us to examine.