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Old 23rd August 2022, 00:49   #1
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Default BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

BYD E6
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Front look
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Lithium iron phosphate chemistry
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White dolphin
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Dashboard view
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The HORRENDOUS BYD logo screaming at you!
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Wide rear bench
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Cavernous boot
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Infotainment system
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Settings
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Screen horizontal layout
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FM
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Google Maps - a disaster
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Best EQ setting
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DC fast charging
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Analogue dials
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Design team
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The blower control wheel feels like its built for a Rolex
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Key fob
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Complete driving & ownership report

Contents

• Why I chose to go electric
• My Courtship with EVs
• Initial considerations
• How I came across BYD
• My initial apprehensions
• Research
• Hands-on experience
• Ownership experience

Why I chose to go electric

My interest in EVs started 5 years ago when I and my brother used to geek out about cars. Back then, he used to own a BMW i3 and used to talk about EVs and their advantages over ice engines. My interest in EVs further increased after reading the autobiography of Elon Musk, where they describe EV technology and how it's superior to its ICE counterparts.

With rising fuel costs, which were irrationally being increased and when we have superior and environmentally friendly technology available, why not consider it?

I had driven a Nexon EV and was blown away by the drive and was instantly wanting to buy one. There's a striking contrast between the drive of EV and Nexon diesel (I am a diesel fan). I have very little or no interest in petrol-powered cars, so whenever I am saying ICE, I am referring to diesel. The Nexon EV's instant torque in the sports mode and the way it handled got me really excited then. That's the first taste I got of electric propulsion technology. The only practical issue that kept me off is the limited range because when I asked the showroom sales manager, "How much range is possible if I drive aggressively in sport mode with ac fully on?", he replied, "120 km". That put a nail in the coffin of my EV dreams.

My usage is very little around the city /town. I use my cars mainly for long trips 280-500 km in a day, sometimes 800 km for which, EV propulsion technology looked like a possibility in the far future, but no way now.

Then came the MG ZS EV, which got me excited. Even though it is expensive, I was thrilled by the larger battery and even more power compared to the Nexon EV. Unfortunately, the real-world range is from 280-300 km, which is barely sufficient. I wanted a car that was not as crazy fast, but with similar performance to a VW Vento or Ford EcoSport or Creta, but with all the virtues of an electric drive train like instant torque and super silent drive with a good range of 500 km (minimum). With the introduction of the new MG ZS EV with the updated battery pack, I thought of buying it as a standby car because of my courtship with EV propulsion technology.

I booked a red MG ZS EV, which I was eagerly waiting for. Since the waiting period was 8 freaking months after I had booked it, I continued my research on EV and battery technologies. Some points that bothered me were:
•Evs don't like to be charged to 100%. They don't like to be discharged 100%. So effectively, they should be maintained from 20% -80% charge, which shows that the effective range is only 70% of the real world range, which amounts to only 260-280 km for the ZS EV.
•Llithium-ion batteries with nickel-based chemistries should not be DC charged continuously for more than 3 times, which could damage a few cells. So, they recommend a full charge up to 100% only once in 2 weeks that too with an AC slow charger to balance the cell voltages.

That was a major disappointment, but I swallowed that bitter pill and I was waiting for my ZS EV delivery, which was still 7 months away.

Then one day, I came across a video on YouTube regarding BYD e6, which is the size of an Innova with a 500 km range. According to that YouTube vlogger, the drive is not as exciting as an electric car should be. I thought of giving it a try and googled extensively for BYD e6 dealers in Andhra Pradesh, but was able to find one only in Chennai. I called him and he said he could deliver the car. But how could I buy something without seeing it? So thought it was a bunch of sour grapes and left it.

Then one day, I got a call from the BYD dealer in Vijayawada saying that if I was interested, he would offer a test drive. I accepted it and he arrived. The vehicle wasn't too impressive to look at in the YouTube videos and I was very skeptical about the build quality, suspension, real-world range, service and availability of spares, etc. The test drive car in white looked pretty good. I was instantly impressed by the solid European /German car-like build quality and stunned by the suspension setup.

The car had very neutral and comfortable handling and felt very nimble like a small hatchback to drive. After a brief test drive, I had doubts about the real-world range of 500 km, which I thought was a marketing gimmick. But to my pleasant surprise, the car is delivering 480 km of real-world range even if driven with a full load with the A/C on and when you are normal with the throttle.

BYD uses blade batteries, which use lithium iron phosphate chemistry, which is known for its long life and the best part is that the car can be DC charged up to 100% without any significant degradation of the battery life. Lithium iron phosphate batteries have relatively low energy density compared to lithium/nickel-based chemistries, but that is taken care of by restricting the motor power and that instant electric punch and wheel spin. The battery management system has been perfectly calibrated to deliver more miles.

Under 50 lakhs, there's no other car offering a 71 kWh battery. The maximum we are getting in that price range is only 50 kWh. For Indian roads with speed restrictions above 120 km/h on most highways and most of the highways having big potholes making high speeds unsafe, I felt the BYD e6 suits our roads the best.

Tata and MG EVs are more fun to drive as they have a peppier throttle response and better high-speed capabilities, which remain as a dead potential that cannot practically be used. BYD offers more space and comfort and a far superior range, which translates into better peace of mind and lesser calculations during a long trip. While charging the car we can just blindly top it up to 100% and drive.

So considering all the above points, I cancelled my MG ZS EV booking and booked a BYD e6 after my 3rd test drive. Mr. Pratap Mukerjee, CEO of PPS motors suggested that I go for white colour and get the roof and pillars wrapped in piano black. I was convinced. A couple of my critic friends had also test-driven the BYD e6 and everyone was speechless and unable to find any fault with the car.

Ownership Eeperience

Exterior design :
The exterior can be described as non-offensive at best, but the front-end is a bit polarising. People used to seeing ICE cars with front grilles will sorely miss them. The overall looks are average - nothing much to mention.

Interior design :
The interior can be described at best as minimalist and spacious. You won't find one unnecessary feature and not even a single necessary feature has been omitted. It's minimal, spacious and functional.

Steering design :
The steering wheel is a flat-bottom unit with good grip and the size is just right - neither too small nor too big. I wish someone could have designed the horrendous blue oval logo better. There's no leather wrapping on the steering wheel, it but feels good to hold. This is not a big miss. The steering is adjustable for both reach and rake, which is a big plus.

Driver seat design :
First thing you notice after sitting in the driver's seat is that the floor is high and the seat lacks under-thigh support. You need to push the seat back and stretch your legs to keep them relaxed on a long drive. No ergonomics issues here. Everything is in the correct place. The pedal position is spot on. No additional adjustment for lumbar support is possible. The seat is manually adjustable and there's height adjustment also, which is a good inclusion. Overall, the seat comfort is summed up as average.

There are ample USB ports and the driver's armrest has a deep storage bin underneath, which also houses type A USB ports. There's a small cubby hole with a door above the driver's right knee and the headlight leveller and instrument cluster brightness adjustment scroll wheels on the right-hand side.

Lights:
Automatic headlights have been given. The DRLs are LED, but the headlights are halogen, which is disappointing. There are no additional fog lamps. Overall, the headlights and road visibility during night time is average. Recently, we have been spoiled by manufacturers providing brilliant projectors with LED lights. The cabin lamps in the front & rear are very bright LED lights, which are white in colour - very pleasant.

The glovebox is big and can hold many things. The door pockets are small and best for small bottles. The cupholders are large and ergonomically placed. The parking brake and the rotary gear knob are very intuitive to use.

Rear bench :
The rear bench is very wide and comfy, but the lack of under-thigh support due to the high floor continues to make its presence felt. This is compensated by the huge legroom and good headroom. The seats are comfortable and offer good support on long drives. The default backrest angle is comfortable and cannot be adjusted. Overall, the rear seat is excellent in terms of space and comfort. They could have included an armrest in the middle, which is sorely missed and would have definitely added to the comfort.

At the rear we have only one blower, but the A/C is very powerful. It chills the cabin very effectively. Another unique feature is that even the rear passengers must wear a seatbelt. Otherwise, the seatbelt warning is triggered. It also indicates which passenger is not wearing the seatbelt.

Boot:
Huge boot with a full-sized spare. There is no frunk.

Infotainment :

Response :
It is slick and responsive but lags slightly when opening side loading apps like Chrome, 3rd party music services or maps. But the inbuilt functions work flawlessly.

Intuitiveness : The interface is very intuitive and natural to use including the air-con adjustments.

Side loading apps:
Side loading apps is pretty easy, but all the apps don't work properly. The best app I found that worked was Amazon prime music. The music quality improved after installation of that app and it became my default app of choice, but it works only in portrait mode.

Music quality and best settings:
The music quality is very good, but the speakers need to be burned in before they sound their best. The overall system is excellent. In mid and high frequency, the vocals are crisp and rich sounding - very natural sounding. The high frequencies are very well-balanced without sounding muddy or too harsh. The biggest drawback is the low-frequency response of the system, which lacks low-end and I feel the system lacks power.
Maybe adding a power amplifier will compensate for the lack of power. Due to the lack of power, we need to turn up the volume to 26-28 to get it to sing. If you are not an audiophile, better don't meddle with it.

Google maps disaster:
Google Maps are a disaster. There's no native support. We need to do jugaad by side loading it after downloading Google Play services and Maps.apk. After all the hard work, you will be greeted with a large map view, which looks even better in portrait orientation. That's where all the fun ends. The Maps app is laggy and it can't detect your current location. The tracking is hopeless. I doubt this Android tablet has GPS or perhaps the side loading app which we downloaded can't access the GPS in the tablet causing this issue.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth :
The car can be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi which can be done by tethering your phone or having a device like Jio Wi-Fi. There is no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

The reverse camera quality is excellent. It comes with parking sensors and dynamic guidelines that change with your steering position.

YouTube/Chrome :
The YouTube app doesn't work, but can be accessed via chrome. Once you get the hang of it, the quality is very good.

Driving experience :
To sum things up, the driving experience is good. The ergonomics and the drivetrain are spot on! You don't need a lot of time to adjust yourself to drive the car. It feels very familiar, predictable and natural.

Start the car by pressing the start button. You will know that the car has started as the A/C comes alive and the digital display prompts you to shift to D. Once in D, just drive away. The parking brake is auto released. The car is super silent except for a creepy siren-like sound which comes below 30 km/h and disappears after that. It is the pedestrian warning system.

The throttle response is decent and in no way does the car feel under-powered below 100 km/h. Only when you start accelerating beyond 100 km/h, does the car start to have delayed speed build-up. But the performance feels adequate - similar to or slightly better than Creta 1.5 diesel automatic. Initial and mid-throttle responses are instant and no prior calculations are needed for overtaking. It's only beyond 100 km/h that you need to be cautious while overtaking.

The steering is Audi/VW style light and the car is easy to maneuver.

The ride quality is superb. Bump absorption is in the league of Duster / Hexa. Just be careful about the ground clearance, otherwise potholes and road undulations feel non-existent. The ride remains flat with minimal to no rocking movement. The suspension also does its job very silently without any thuds and noises. The tyres that came with the car are Chinese-made, but offer good grip and there is very little tyre noise.

The cabin insulation is superb. Wind and road noise are kept to a minimum. What we have is a very silent cabin. The doors are also well-damped and give a very reassuring solid thud every time we close them. The build quality feels like a German car. It is in the league of the VW Passat or Skoda Superb.

Battery life:
Superb! It puts cars costing between 1 crore and 1.5 crores to shame. The battery life felt like a dream come true. Under mixed real-world usage, we are able to get 460-480 km with normal driving.

We made trips from Rajahmundry to Hyderabad. The total distance from my house to my relatives' house in Hyderabad is 485 km. We stopped at Suryapet at seven, DC charged for 30 minutes and after reaching Hyderabad, we were left with 48 km of range. This makes the BYD E6 as practical as any ICE car. The total journey won't take longer than a fossil fuel car. The car was driven by my driver who knew nothing about EVs. He maintained speeds of 110-115 km/h on the highway.

On another trip from Rajahmundry to Vizag and back on the same day without charging, we started with around 88% charge and on the way back, had to deal with range anxiety. We had to turn off the A/C for the last 40 km. When I inquired, the driver he said he drove fast on the highway and by the time the car reached home, the charge was 0%. But we made it in a single charge. The worst possible range I was able to achieve was 395 km. We drove like lunatics - pedal-to-metal continuously and with the A/C on full blast, with a full load and with luggage.

Charging:
The best part is the ease of charging your BYD. It supports both AC and DC charging. There's no hassle of charging only till 80% and fortnightly slow charging top-ups. It can be charged to 100% via a DC fast charger throughout the life of the car.
• Robust battery technology
• Charging speed: AC up to 40 kilowatts; DC up to 80 kilowatts
I have personally installed a 22 kW charger made by Hindustan Electricals at home. It is found to strike the best balance between speed and cost-effectiveness.
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Last edited by Aditya : 4th September 2022 at 13:07. Reason: Edited for better readability
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Old 26th August 2022, 05:07   #2
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th August 2022, 10:07   #3
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

There are two definitive concerns that BYD E6 seems to address without burning lots of holes in the pocket (1) Range Anxiety and (2) Longer Battery life. These are the two biggest concerns that many people on this forum and elsewhere have been expressing to take the plunge into EV bandwagon.

From this excellent review, it appears that there aren’t any major trade offs either.

At this price point, BYD perhaps provides more bang for the bucks.
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Old 26th August 2022, 11:16   #4
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

Many congratulations.

My office complex has the Vijayawada BYD Showroom and was inaugurated yesterday though the operations seem to have begun months before.

I have been seeing a few BYD MPVs of late not just near my office but also on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad Highway.

In flesh, the car looks just like a perfect MPV and is absolutely distinguishable ( I find similarities with Toyota Estima).

I read it's marketed as luxury MPV and boasts some great numbers in range and I am glad the car is keeping up to it.

Though I wonder what's the marketing strategy of the BYD, given they are selling the car north of 3 million and yet the advertising is quite abysmally existent in the traditional sense. The company seems to be bankrolled by none other than Warren Buffet and yet no one seems to know the name of the company. I hope they know what they are doing.

Once again, wishing you many congratulations and millions of miles !

Last edited by poised2drive : 26th August 2022 at 11:21.
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Old 26th August 2022, 12:20   #5
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

A most unique review, thanks for sharing, drstrange .

Quote:
Originally Posted by poised2drive View Post
Though I wonder what's the marketing strategy of the BYD, given they are selling the car north of 3 million and yet the advertising is quite abysmally existent in the traditional sense. The company seems to be bankrolled by none other than Warren Buffet and yet no one seems to know the name of the company. I hope they know what they are doing.
From what I hear, BYD is playing the long game in India. Very patient, very slow, very "in the learning" stage. BYD is huge in China & has presence in other overseas markets. They sold over 3-lakh EVs in H1 of 2022, over and above some 3-lakh plug-in hybrids.
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Old 26th August 2022, 12:26   #6
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

Download apps from uptodown using the browser. For youtube download Vance.
For me Google maps and connectivity had no issues.
I have upgraded my lights.
Upgrading my speakers next week.
Just completed a 2000 kms road trip in the E6. It was great. It was comfortable. I won't say that I didn't miss my BMW but I paid a lot.less in charging costs than I would have for the gas in the BMW. Waiting for the ix deliveries to start to really start having fun with the electric car tech. But BYD is a nice car if you want to chill and save money and travel with all the space you can get. I don't think I will be a buying an ICE car ever again.
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Old 26th August 2022, 12:51   #7
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

BYD is a big name in commercial electric vehicles; many buses inducted as part of the public transport fleets in SG and other countries. They also manufacture batteries for other entities and are part of several clean energy ETFs. So not unknown by any stretch outside India. Private vehicles, yes, relatively unknown outside China and HK, but that's changing rapidly as they bring learning from commercial applications to bear on private vehicles.
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Old 26th August 2022, 13:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
...
From what I hear, BYD is playing the long game in India. Very patient, very slow, very "in the learning" stage. BYD is huge in China & has presence in other overseas markets. They sold over 3-lakh EVs in H1 of 2022, over and above some 3-lakh plug-in hybrids.
They recently got a big client in the EV space for their blade-type battery: Tesla

Source: Autoline


Tesla also have tremendous experience in battery chemistry, EVs and charge cycle-based degradation. If Tesla finds them good enough for their cars, it must be at least up there with their battery tech.

I hear that it's more efficient in terms of volume/kWh and weight/kWh and also have better thermal efficiency because of the spread-out blade design.
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Old 26th August 2022, 15:53   #9
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

Thanks drstrange and congratulation for your electrifying acquisition. Wish you many happy miles with your machine.

This indeed is a very interesting car in Indian EV scenario, specially when other MPV are little behind on electrification, added bonus is the range, but the thing attracted me most is the fluidic design & build quality of the car. This car could get a good traction in our market once people start recognizing the brand.

As GTO rightly said, BYD is testing the Indian market/requirements/needs/value propositions, Knowing that they have strong financial backing they are definitely dark horse right now.

Few questions: How the car is performing wrt the ground clearance (170mm)?
Did the car sag under load?
Did the battery pack cover full bottom floor? Any pics?

Thanks
UD
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Old 26th August 2022, 16:25   #10
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Wow! I’ve known about Byd for a while but had absolutely no idea whatsoever that they were already here in India. Why isn’t anybody talking about this? The worlds largest EV manufacturer backed by the the worlds most legendary investor, a brand which has overtaken Tesla, makes not even a squeak of a noise in our market? Bizarre!

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/20...-beating-tesla

This seems like a brilliant product all round! This focus only on outright power and torque wrt EVs seems so narrowly defined by a few auto enthusiasts and journalists. While something like this is arguably exactly what most people need.

What’s perhaps more exciting is that Byd has a portfolio of hybrids too. Now if they bring those here, that would really shake things up even more.

Great, crisp review. Great looking vehicle. Nice lines. Definitely looks miles better than your average mpv. Thanks for sharing.

Last edited by RT13 : 26th August 2022 at 16:27.
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Old 26th August 2022, 16:42   #11
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Default

Reply :
The car doesn't sag under full load
Yes the GC is 170 mm
Yes the battery pack covers the entire floor I will try to arrange pic soon
Quote:
Originally Posted by UD17 View Post
.........

Few questions: How the car is performing wrt the ground clearance (170mm)?
Did the car sag under load?
Did the battery pack cover full bottom floor? Any pics?

Thanks
UD
Reply :
Thankyou for warm wishes and encouragement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT13 View Post
........Great, crisp review. Great looking vehicle. Nice lines. Definitely looks miles better than your average mpv. Thanks for sharing.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 26th August 2022 at 17:07. Reason: back to back posts
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Old 26th August 2022, 17:35   #12
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

Dear @drstrange, welcome to Team BHP. That's a marvellous debut thread and post - a crisp review on the BYD e6. Congratulations on your new love and thank you for sharing your experience with the car. My most important take away is that for all normal use one is really operating in the 80% down to 20% band and not 100% to 10%. Good reality check. That looks like a smart no-nonsense car. Those inter city trips you clocked sound very ambitious especially at such high speeds where energy burn goes up more than proportionately. I wish you many miles of safe and happy driving.
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Old 26th August 2022, 19:16   #13
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by drstrange View Post
Caption: BYD E6.....Best part is ease of charging your BYD
•It supports both AC and DC charging
•No hassle of charging only till 80% and fortnight slow charging top ups
•It can be charged till 100% via dc fast charger throughout the life of the car •Robust battery technology
Charging speed:
•Ac upto 40 kilowatts
•Dc upto 80 kilowatts
•I have personally installed 22 kw charger made by Hindustan electricals at home which is found to strike the best balance between speed and cost effectiveness
Great write-up on a new entrant to the market. It should convince most fence-sitters to take the plunge! I would too, but for two things - first the price is (for a retiree like me) still too high for EVs. And secondly (considering that the mechanical complexities in the drive-line/transmission is much reduced in EVs) I'm still perplexed why RWD/AWD are still given the step - motherly treatment by manufacturers.

Northway Motorsport of Pune, Maharashtra has been offering EVs for a while. One of their early offerings was a Maruti Alto/800 conversion to EV - with RWD! For a die-hard RWD-er like me, I felt it was an enterprising way to go!

Thank you Dr. Strange for a great write-up.
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Old 26th August 2022, 19:31   #14
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

The ability to charge at 40kW using AC is super helpful.

In many ABB chargers by Zeon, there will be a CCS at 50kW and type 2 (AC) at 43kW. Cars like MG ZS can charge at 50kW using the CCS charger but using the type 2 port, it can only do 7kW.This way, BYD e6 need not get held up by other cars at such locations. Zeon has these types of chargers in at least 4-5 crucial highway locations.

Last edited by lina : 26th August 2022 at 19:32. Reason: missed not
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Old 26th August 2022, 21:37   #15
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Default Re: BYD E6 Electric MPV | Ownership Review

Nice Writeup. BYD is an unknown brand in India especially Tier 2 and below cities. They need KIA type of marketing and hype. I still remember the UM motorcycles fiasco. Started with a bang but fizzled out. I hope BYD makes it big in India and becomes a mainstream manufacturer.
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