The BYD E6 – an electric car from China’s BYD with a range of 186 miles – has arrived in the UK ahead of fleet trials with taxi operators and others.
It’s three years since the BYD E6 was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, with big claims for the future of BYD and the E6. And now the E6 has arrived in the UK.
More than 50 BYD E6s have arrived in Southampton docks and are heading out for trials with UK fleet operators, principally the Taxi market. And that’s a good thing.
Electric cars as taxis are a brilliant way to go, especially if the EV can take enough charge to do a day’s work and get the cabbie home after.
With zero tail pipe emissions and quiet running, electric taxis could do wonders for the noise and pollution levels in our cities – particularly London where the average black cab churns out more NOx and particulates than the average 747 – and the BYD E6 seems a good starting point for cost-effective electric taxis.
BYD claim a range of 186 miles from a single charge – no doubt enough for any London cabbie – so they’re a viable option for a day’s cabbying, even if they don’t exactly look cutting edge and appealing.
But with a big chunk of Warren Buffet’s money behind them, BYD has become China’s fastest growing car maker, going from zero to the fourth largest automotive company in China in little over a decade. They’re not to be underestimated.
BYD’s European MD, Isbrand Ho, said:
We are very excited with the arrival of our e6 pure electric cars in the UK. The e6 has zero tailpipe emissions, reducing air pollution, and also benefits from significantly lower running costs than conventional petrol or diesel cars. The model is well-proven, having driven over 14 million miles in key global markets.
If the E6 proves its mettle as a private hire taxi, they could well become a common sight in cities across the UK. The E6 may not have huge appeal for private buyers, but for fleets – especially taxi fleets – they make a lot of sense. And London’s Green Tomato Cars will be one of the first to get the E6 EV on the road as a cab.
It’ll be very interesting to see how good the E6 is at ferrying fares round London.