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China's BYD Claims This Electric Hatchback Can Get 620 Miles Of Range

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We’re still locked into thinking that 300-odd miles makes a “long range” EV. Well, Chinese carmaker BYD says its newest platform will get this little hatchback to double that.

This is the BYD AE-1. There’s not a lot to say about the car, other than the Build Your Dreams inscription on the back. The two-tone styling is cute in a way the BMW i3 sort of wishes it were. BYD also has the windows covered so we can’t see any interior, so it’s fair to assume this car is not exactly ready for prime time.


Still, its claimed specs are more than a little impressive, as reports from the floor of the Shanghai auto show:

The design aesthetics of the platform will take into account dynamics, low wind resistance and large space. The platform models will have standard high-efficiency heat pump technology, and the power density of its new generation of SiC electronic control has increased by 30%. The official said its highest efficiency can reach 99.7 %. In terms of endurance, the official said that the platform has the ability to build a 1000km endurance vehicle. The platform supports 800V high voltage technology. The vehicle can be charged for 5 minutes to supplement the 150km endurance. In terms of power, the official said the platform product can achieve 2.9s 0-100km/h acceleration time.


It’s not too hard to wrap your head around a new EV doing o-62 in 2.9 seconds and getting close to double the range of your rich cousin’s Tesla. It’s just difficult to put that together with a cute little hatchback.

Moreover, there are no claims yet from BYD as to what test cycle these 1,000 kilometers of range would be going under, be it the NEDC used in China or what. (And it’s not as if the EPA test cycle is a rock-solid guarantee of range, either.) There’s no word, either, on how big the battery pack is, how heavy or how costly.

There is some reason to believe that BYD will get to this range, though. There’s a race going on right now in the Chinese electric car market to hit that 1,000 km figure, as Nikkei Asia reported in February. Rival startup Nio has already claimed it will have a solid-state battery pack capable of the four-figure metric mark, so BYD is no outlier.

It’s also a challenge to believe this tech from BYD, the company. It has come a long way since it was promising to bring cars to American shores in 2010, and was giving us a very exciting test drive in Detroit on the floor of the North American International Auto Show back in ‘08.


It’s not clear when exactly this car will see production, other than that the e-platform 3.0 (which BYD claims is open source) is “coming soon,” per Autohome. BYD itself does seem to be doing well, with profits surging last year. Cool things may be on the horizon.