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The e6 is BYD's first foray into the passenger vehicle market, offering a practical and sensible all-electric car to seat five.

01 Aug 2019


The BYD e6 is a common sight on our roads, thanks to its use as taxis and private-hire vehicles here.

In fact, most of its driving trials have been for taxi companies in Singapore. In some cases, it is used as emergency vehicles in China, where BYD is based.

BYD stands for Build Your Dreams, and is a major battery manufacturer in China

But since July, the Chinese-made e6 is now available for purchase as a private passenger vehicle in Singapore. It carries the promise of affordable and reliable all-electric motoring.

So what is this car?

So is it a hatchback, MPV or crossover? Honestly, it is a little bit of everything.

Well, it's a little too big to be a hatchback (it's almost similar in size to the Mercedes-Benz GLC), and its raised height and large wheel arches do mean it has SUV-like proportions. But instead of bold crossover lines, the e6's sheet metal is rather sensible and toned down. In some ways, it looks like a five-seater MPV on stilts.

From the side, the electric car looks like a five-seater MPV

We're being a little bit picky here, but aside from its slight identity crisis, there is nothing much to hint at its all-electric drivetrain underneath the largely unassuming exterior.

That's a good thing because having to drive a car that shouts all-electric every day isn't all that pragmatic. The BYD e6 is about being a sensible, practical solution, and in its design, it shows.

Less spectacular, more sensible

Step inside and you get a sense of its more fleet-based, built-to-last properties. It is largely utilitarian in nature, with hard, grey plastics that do the job, far from being fancy.

The BYD e6's cabin switchgear may be a little tacky, but at least they are clearly indicated

But most of the focus in the cabin will be towards the three digital displays positioned at the top of the dashboard, in the driver's line of sight.

It displays all you need to know about its electric drive, from battery levels, average consumption, to how much horsepower the e6 puts out or gathers back via regenerative braking.

But through all the displays, our favourite has to be how the e6 also tells you your average consumption costs. It may show U.S. Dollars now, but you just need to input the current charging rates at our local charging stations.

Instead of just electricity consumption figures, the e6 also tells you how much money you're burning

The displays can also be clearly seen from the back seats. Here, the e6 offers a reasonable amount of head and legroom for three adults. While being a little too upright, the rear seats remain surprisingly comfortable.

More cruiser than bruiser

Behind the wheel, the BYD e6 is more of a cruiser. While the synchronous motor puts out a respectable 121bhp and 450Nm of torque to the front wheels, the e6 tips the scales at just over 2.2 tonnes. Most of its torque is tasked to move its heavy footprint.

Despite pushing out 121bhp and 450Nm of torque, the e6's mass negates any neck snapping acceleration

While it won't break away from the lights in a cloud of tyre smoke, it does provide a seamless drive. As electric power delivery is instant, its heft is largely not felt when you're busy squirting through gaps in traffic at reasonable (legal) speeds.

In a straight line, the e6's comfort-oriented suspension setup soaks up bumps with relative ease. Steering is light - useful considering its rather large proportions. But these qualities also mean that you shouldn't expect the e6 to be carving corners spiritedly.

The e6's light steering is useful in the city, but is a tad too light for expressway driving

No anxiety

Its relaxed nature behind the wheel is further complemented by its electric driving range.

We clocked 119km over two days in the BYD e6, with its driving range display indicating an expected range of 254km remaining, with 65% of battery charge left. That's a total estimated range of around 370km with our less than economical driving style.

No fancy fast charging needed - the BYD e6 can charge up normally from empty to full in just two hours

More impressive is that with SP Group's charging stations, you can charge e6 up to full in two hours. Mind you, that's just its normal charging speed.

A force to be reckoned with

The BYD e6 is an interesting insight to what a sensible all-electric car might be in the future. Yes, it may need a little bit of polishing. But, as a tool, it works surprisingly well - considering BYD only started manufacturing cars 16 years ago.

It might be a little rough on the edges, but the BYD e6 is a great way to step into the world of electric motoring

Plus, major manufacturers are trusting BYD and its electric abilities. Just this month, Toyota entered a partnership with BYD to work towards developing electric vehicles together in the future.

At $129,888 (as of 31 July 2019), it is one of the more affordable passenger electric vehicles on the market. The cheapest currently goes to the Renault Zoe hatchback, at $119,999. But if you're looking into entering the world of all-electric motoring with a practical five-seat solution, take a good look at the BYD e6.
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Car Information

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BYD e6 Electric 80 kWh (A)
Rate it

Price

: $138,888

Engine Type

:

AC Synchronous Motor (Brushless)

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

90kW (121 bhp)

Torque

:

450 Nm

Transmission

:

Single speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

140km/h

Fuel consumption

:

unknown

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