The Chinese BYD Tang is the latest electric car tested in Bjørn Nyland's 1,000 km challenge, designed to check long-distance travel capabilities, related to the combination of range, efficiency, and fast charging.
After the range test and initial charging results, we knew that it would not be the king of the highways, but the result might be acceptable for a large 7-seat SUV available at a reasonable price.
According to the video, the BYD Tang (version equipped with an 86.4 kWh battery and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain), completed the distance of 1,000 km (over 621 miles), at an average temperature of 18°C, in 11 hours and 25 minutes (after some time deductions).
It's a time comparable to the previously tested Chinese NIO ES8 (11:25), but far behind the European SUVs like BMW iX (10:10) or Audi e-tron 55 (10:20 or 10:40 for Black Edition). Smaller EVs (Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5) can be even quicker.
During the challenge, the car was charged a total of six times along the way (5-6 is a typical number of stops for the challenge). After the initial 258 km (160 miles), the average distance between charging stops was 124 km (77 miles).
The 1,000 km challenge is a unique test (optimized for time rather than convenience), which expands our empirical knowledge about EVs and gives us glimpses of what is physically possible by an experienced driver in a country with dense DC fast charging infrastructure.
One of the main issues for the BYD Tang is high energy consumption. According to the video, the average consumption amounted to 327 Wh/km (526 Wh/mile).
Because of that, the range is affected and the car has to stop for charging more often. Here comes the second issue. Bjørn Nyland discovered that the first few minutes of the fast charging session run at a very low power level (5-10 kW), which in the case of six charging stops is worth roughly 25 minutes. This time is wasted because the amount of energy replenished at such a low level is marginal - but as we understand, the car's battery requires it before accepting a higher power.
After the initial slow phase, the charging curve is not bad, and is usually stable at 115-119 kW between 0 and 64% of state-of-charge (SOC) and at 85-87 kW between 65-84% SOC.
It will be interesting to see whether in future generations/updates if BYD will eliminate the initial slow part. The 86.4 kWh battery is actually a higher voltage one as it exceeds 700 V.
Test conditions (according to Bjørn Nyland):
- Start: 100% State of Charge (SOC)
- Temperatures: 16-20°C (18°C on average)
- Total time: 11 hours and 25 minutes
- Average speed (total): 87.6 km/h (54 mph)
- Average energy consumption: 327 Wh/km (526 Wh/mile)
- Number of stops for charging: 6
- Average distance between charging stops:
Total: 143 km (89 miles)
Excluding the initial segment: 124 km (77 miles)
- Date / Notes: 06.08.2022
- after 258 km (160 miles)
- after 365 km (227 miles)
- after 514 km (319 miles)
- after 663 km (412 miles)
- after 769 km (478 miles)
- after 886 km (551 miles)