Could Chinese-made BYD e6 EV be America’s next green taxi?

BYD e6There’s a new electric vehicle coming to the United States, but most people won’t be able to drive it.

BYD (Build Your Dreams), the Chinese company that is already trying to manufacture and sell electric buses in the U.S., plans to bring its electric e6 across the Pacific. However, the EV will only be available to fleet buyers.

Last year, BYD announced plans to supply Hertz with a fleet of the EVs, but it is now expanding its plans to include taxi drivers.

The e6 will continue to be built in China, but modifications necessary to comply with American regulations will be made at a plant in the Los Angeles area, near BYD’s North American headquarters.

BYD previously stated that it would not sell the e6 to private customers in the United States because the lack of a comprehensive charging infrastructure made success questionable.

Selling the e6 exclusively to taxi or rental fleets would also dovetail nicely with the company’s bus sales plan, since it would keep BYD firmly in the commercial vehicle realm.

American buyers probably won’t be missing anything, anyway. The e6 is a midsize hatchback with unimaginative styling, and it’s hard to trust a new carmaker when it comes to build quality.

A 75-kilowatt electric motor gives the e6 a top speed of 87 mph.

Interestingly, the 2012 e6 is already listed on the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov mpg ratings website. The official ratings are 60 MPGe city, 64 MPGe highway, and 62 MPGe combined, putting the Chinese car at the bottom of the EV efficiency rankings.

However, the e6’s 122-mile range is impressive, topping everything short of a Tesla Model S.

When it enters taxi service, the e6’s top competitor will probably be the Nissan Leaf, which has already started taxi pilot programs in New York and Zurich.

A 2013 Leaf returns 129 MPGe city, 102 MPGe highway, and 115 MPGe combined, but has a shorter, 75-mile range.

BYD is an unknown quantity in the United States, but with Tesla, Detroit Electric, and the recently departed Coda already making a go of the EV market, that doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal as it is in the rest of the industry.

Then again, BYD still hasn’t followed through with its plans to collaborate with Hertz, or to sell electric buses, so the e6 electric taxi may not happen at all.

Do you think the BYD e6 would make a good taxi? Tell us in the comments.

Cars

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Cars

With a 48-inch screen, this futuristic dashboard is like nothing else

Chinese startup Byton traveled to CES 2019 to unveil a new version of its electric concept that's closer to series production. It has the largest screen ever fitted to a production vehicle.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.