Spy Shots: BYD E5 EV sedan is Ready for the Chinese auto market

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This is the new BYD E5, an electric car based on the petrol-powered BYD Su Rui sedan. The BYD E5 will debut on the Shanghai Auto Show in April and launch on the Chinese car market in the second half of the year. It will only be the second full-electric car in BYD’s line-up after the aging BYD e6.

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This is the petrol powered Su Rui. It was launched in August 2012 and became famous worldwide because it was, and still is, the first car to feature a remote control system. Two engines: a 109hp 1.5 mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed DCT,  and a 154hp 1.5 turbo which only goes with the DCT. Current price starts at 65.900 yuan and ends at 99.900 yuan.


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Note E5 badge on the right. With a capital E. Whereas the e6 comes lower case.

The E5 will be powered by an electric motor with an output of 107hp mated to a 65aH lithium ion battery. Range will be about 200 kilometer and top speed will hover around 150. Price including subsidies is expected to start around 140.000 yuan.

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  1. Not impressive at all. Design is not new and not adapted to the need of a light weight body. Performace in general and range are under many small chinese carmakers that can make achive over 400 km with one charge. Everything depend by the use of an old battery technology dating back already more then 10 years…

    • I would not trust figures from Chery and especially Yema. There is a lot that goes into making EVs, not simply a featherweight chassis or an extended range (Safety, reliability and cycle lifespan). Right now, this is a right and proper competitor to the Nissan Leaf and the Prius but as you said, BYD could do much better. Right now, BYD’s sales have plummeted due to an overvalued Yuan and a weaker domestic market. It got so bad that BYD actually had to sell off some of its assets to gain some form of traction. We have to wait and see if BYD’s investment in Lithium Manganese batteries pays off but the wisest thing for BYD to do is to properly market its PHEVs, rather than bum rush the overcrowded Electric Sedan market in China.

  2. But the price! BYD essentially needs a Leaf competitor, not necessarily for now, but for when China builds an ev-charging infrastructure, perhaps based off the backs of BYD’s PHEVs. 200 km range is 120 mi; if it can meet up with this kind of range in actual performance, we have a winner, as it’s half again that of the Leaf’s.

    BYD to really take off, though, needs a 120 kwh car, or even a 160 kwh car. That grants 400mi range, which, with fast-charging is enough to enable cross-country distances; you drive 6-7 miles, eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner while your car quickcharges, then you hit the motel.


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