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

Fisker failed. But now the EV pioneer is ready for an epic redo

Henrik Fisker has already had a career most executives can only dream about. He designed the BMZ Z8, a couple of Aston Martins, and his own Fisker Karma. But he’s got a plan to disrupt the auto industry, forged by lessons learned over the…
Product Review

While other crossovers dabble in dirt, Toyota's truck-like RAV4 doubles down

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 gets a clean-sheet redesign, ditching the previous generation’s car-like styling for truck-like toughness. Toyota’s compact crossover also gets more tech and new powertrains.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.
Cars

Lamborghini transforms the Urus SUV into a dual-purpose race car

Breaking stereotypes and tradition, Lamborghini has turned the Urus SUV into a race car that's equally at home on a paved track and on a dirt trail. The ST-X concept gets bigger air intakes, a full roll cage, and center-locking alloy…
Cars

Jaguar’s V2X technology will keep you from getting stuck at red lights

Jaguar wants to make sure you never have to rush through a yellow light again. The carmaker is building tools that will tell you what speed you'll need to drive to avoid getting stuck at a red light.
Cars

Drool over Lamborghini’s latest dream machine: The one-off SC18

The Lamborghini SC18 was built by the automaker's Squadra Corse racing department at the request of a customer. Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, it features upgraded aerodynamic aids and reduced weight.
Cars

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ousted, arrested after whistleblower cries foul

Nissan will oust chairman Carlos Ghosn after an internal investigation revealed he underreported his salary to Japan's financial authorities for years. Greg Kelly, one of Nissan's representative directors, will leave for the same reason.
Cars

Tesla owners will soon be able to summon a repair van in a few taps

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out plans to expand the Tesla mobile app so Tesla owners can request on-demand service for common problems from Tesla Ranger mobile service vehicles in just a few taps.
Cars

2019 Crosstrek Hybrid has something no Subaru has ever had

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is the Japanese automaker's first production plug-in hybrid vehicle. It will go on sale before the end of the year. Subaru relied on plug-in hybrid tech from Toyota to make the Crosstrek Hybrid a reality.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…
Cars

Mini’s most extreme hot hatchback will hit the streets in 2020

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the basic Mini Cooper.