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Byton inks deal with Electrify America for free electric car charging

Byton expects to launch its M-Byte SUV in 2021 and Electrify America will be the preferred charging station company.

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Byton-Electrify America partnership

Free charging! For two years, though.

Electrify America

Byton, the Chinese electric-car startup with grand plans for a tech-filled SUV, made its US introduction plans that much more credible on Wednesday. The company announced a partnership with Electrify America that will provide free charging for Byton customers. 

Well, free as in the car's suggested retail price (currently estimated to be around $45,000) will include the complimentary access. You'll still be paying for it, just not when you plug in. It's still a rather good deal on paper. Future owners of the Byton M-Byte electric SUV will have access to unlimited 30-minute charging sessions on DC fast chargers at any Electrify America charging station. For those that pull up to a less powerful Level 2 station, they get unlimited hour-long sessions. The unlimited access goes away after two years, however.

The DC fast chargers will be the way to go, though. Byton estimates the M-Byte will receive 150 miles of range in 30 minutes on Electrify America's 150 kW chargers. By 2021, there will be an estimated 800 locations that offer DC fast chargers for a total of 3,500 plugs.

Byton plans to launch its first production car next year in China before it looks to Europe, and ultimately, the US. The electric SUV will come in two versions: a model sporting a 72 kWh battery pack and 270 horsepower, and one with a larger 95 kWh battery for 402 hp. Range for the less powerful model should sit at 224 miles. The larger battery will award 270 miles of range and also adds all-wheel drive.

The news that's consistently grabbed headlines is the cockpit. Inside, there's a 48-inch curved display for all sorts of infotainment purposes. That wasn't just a concept feature because Byton confirmed it's headed to production earlier this year when it showed the production car.

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