BYD to unveil plug-in SUV, e-bus in Detroit

Premiering at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the vehicles join the Chinese carmaker's plug-in hybrid sedan, currently being tested by the LA Housing Authority.

Liane Yvkoff
Liane Yvkoff is a freelance writer who blogs about cars for CNET Car Tech. E-mail Liane.
Liane Yvkoff
2 min read

Chinese automaker BYD (Build Your Dreams) will debut two new SUVs and an electric bus at the 2011 North American International Auto Show next month. The world premiere of these vehicles is part of the manufacturer's "Three Green Dreams" lineup--which includes not only vehicles but other green technologies as well--and adds to the F3DM plug-in hybrid sedan that's currently being tested by the Los Angeles Housing Authority.

The 2012 E6 Premier is an all-electric crossover with a top speed of 87 mph and a range of 186 miles. The five-seater can be fully recharged in 6 hours using a 10-kilowatt charging station or in 40 minutes using a 100-kilowatt charging station, which is much higher amperage than what's currently used by fast charging stations in the U.S. The 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2011 Mitsubishi iMiev support the CHAdeMo DC fast charging standard. CHAdeMo-compatible fast charging stations deliver 62.5 kilowatts and can recharge the LEAF and iMiev to up to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes. Details on the E6's charging ports haven't been released, but there's a chance charging times will be revised if changes are required to conform to U.S. standards.

BYD's new S6DM plug-in hybrid SUV offers four-wheel-drive capability and an all-electric range of 38 miles. Using a 2-liter gas engine in addition to the vehicle's two electric motors (a 10-kilowatt motor turns the front wheels, and a 75-kilowatt electric motor powers the rear wheels), the S6DM has a range of 310 miles. Rounding out the electric offering is the 40-foot K9 electric bus, which uses in-wheel electric drive to propel itself.

BYD's green tech lineup looks promising, but the carmaker has yet to make good on its initial plans to sell the F3DM plug-in hybrid sedan in the U.S. The E6 Premier electric crossover was supposed to launch in 2010 but was delayed due to high battery costs and changes to make the car roomier. The E6 is expected to go on sale in 2012.