Meet the fully electric Chinese SUV aiming to take over Europe
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The BYD Tang EV600 might sound like a randomly generated garble of letters and numbers. But, it may not be for long.
Critical to the western world's acceptance of Chinese-produced vehicles is success in Europe and America, and that seems like just a matter of time.
BYD (short for Build Your Dreams) is one of the biggest names in Chinese motoring and the world's second biggest EV manufacturer behind Tesla. Overnight, it announced grand plans to start producing its latest fully electric passenger vehicle, the surprisingly handsome Tang EV600, in Europe.
I stipulate 'passenger vehicle' because BYD already produces electrified buses in the region. The Tang is set to join that fleet later this year, along with two different trucks, a panel van, and at tractor.
BYD chose Norway as its Tang EV600 production base, and for good reason. The Nordic nation is a world leader in electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure. If you can't make an EV sell there, then chances of success in wider Europe become remote.
“Norway is the most advanced market in Europe when it comes to the widespread adoption and usage of electric vehicles, as well as possessing a comprehensive charging network,” said BYD Europe Managing Director Isbrand Ho.
“We will closely evaluate how the market performs, but, in the longer term, it is our aim to expand passenger car sales beyond Norway.”
The EV600 sports an impressive spec sheet. It's capable of an impressive 520km of travel per charge (NEDC test cycle figures) in its flagship model, thanks to an 82.8kWh battery. Flagship models utilise an electric motor for each wheel, helping it eclipse 100km/h in a claimed 4.4 seconds.
“We are delighted to be expanding our portfolio with the addition of these new pure-electric vehicles,” Ho added.
“This is another milestone in our commitment to protect the environment, contributing to the reduction of emissions and cleaner air in Europe.”
“During our marketing trial, we are confident that the BYD Tang’s range, design, practicality and high-level technology will appeal to discerning European buyers.”