BYD, the Chinese automotive manufacturer who’s recently brought London electric buses, has launched their latest hybrid car intended for key world markets. The Qin, is a high performance saloon capable of an impressive 0 to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds and onward to a top speed of 115 mph. All the while, the claimed fuel economy is a healthy 177mpg. Although the Qin has only been launched in China, it is expected to hit UK and European showrooms sometime in 2015.
An all electric range of up to 44 miles is possible meaning that most commutes are covered in EV only range and as such owners are likely not to dip into the petrol reserves or suffer range anxiety. The petrol engine is a 1.5 TID producing just short of 150BHP and is attached to a decent sized 11 gallon fuel tank, plenty to cover a large range.
The EV only range is nearly twice that of comparative Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) and is more akin to what you might expect from an extended range electric vehicle or E-REV. Though details have not yet been given, this is likely due to BYD’s extensive use of Lithium Iron (Li-Fe) batteries as featured in their other vehicles, including the all electric E6.
The Chinese vehicle market is massive and sales figures there dwarf those we’re used to in Europe. The launch of the Qin is believed to have set new sales records with the first 100 cars put on sale selling in an incredible two seconds flat. About 95,000 people visited the BYD online shop with 6,000 registering their interest and 23,405 online at the time the first 100 cars went on sale. An impressive 4,155 wannabe purchasers rushed to be one of the first 100 owners, resulting in the two second sell out.
The new Qin model uses technology and know-how gained from the old BYD F3DM, of which many tens of thousands were sold. The PHEV nature of the Qin means it is able to be plugged in to just about anywhere with a socket. There is also a brake energy regeneration system on-board, typically contributing to around 2.5-3 kWh for every 62 miles travelled. When power is low or there is an on-demand need for ultimate acceleration the HEV mode is activated; this can be programmed either automatically or manually.
The Qin offers four fully matched driving functions – EV+ECO, EV+SPORT, HEV+ECO and HEV+SPORT modes. These are selectable by the driver, allowing choice between economy and performance, as desired.
All models in the Qin line-up feature a large 12.1-inch TFT instrument panel, smart key system and BYD’s unique remote driving facility, which allows the car to be manoeuvred remotely at very low speed from the outside of the vehicle where permissible.
Standard safety features include Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electric Park Brake, ISO-FIX mounting points for child safety seats, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Control Deceleration Parking and 12 air bags.
The Qin family includes advanced internet connectivity encompassing a Cloud-based services system, currently available only in China, which brings together the intelligent technology and interactive experiences into one driver-friendly control unit.
The BYD Qin, spearheading a range of BYD petrol, hybrid and pure electric cars for the consumer market, is expected to be launched in Europe in early 2015. Initial prices in China prior to any EV subsidies range from £19,645 to £21,715 (€23,725 to €26,225).
AutoVolt Magazine was one of the first to test drive the BYD E6 all electric car and look forward to trying out the Qin when it arrives sometime next year.