Using the recent Beijing Auto Show as its stage, BYD introduced its new “5-4-2” New Energy Vehicle performance standard and a series of cars designed to meet it. “5” represents the maximum time in seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds) in future car models. “4” stands for the number of wheels under power; BYD’s future new energy cars will be integrated with all-wheel drive. “2” stands for the maximum liters of gasoline maximum that will be consumed for 100 km traveled in a BYD car—i.e., 2.0 l/100 km, or 118 mpg US.
BYD introduced its first 5-4-2 vehicle at the show, the Tang plug-in hybrid SUV. Tang accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in only 4.9 seconds, has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine paired with two electric motors and consumes less than 2L of fuel in 100 km traveled.
|“This is not just a dream. In the electronic era, we can do things we couldn’t do in the mechanical eras.”|
—BYD Chariman Wang Chuanfu
Tang has two modes for 4WD and four driving modes. In electric (EV) mode, it applies “all-time” 4WD with zero fuel consumption. In hybrid (HEV) mode, it applies “real-time” 4WD and consumes less than 2 L for 100 km traveled.
BYD said it will introduce a super-hybrid in 2016, the “Ming” that will be powered by four independent, in-wheel driving motors, which can make one wheel steering forward while one wheel steering backward on opposite wheels to rotate in place. The Tang, the Han for 2015 and the Ming for 2016 will all meet the 5-4-2 standard.
Last year, BYD launched its Qin plug-in hybrid (earlier post) with a racing competition in Beijing. Qin beat 19 cars including a Porsche 911, Golf GTI and some other well-known vehicles accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.9 seconds. Qin has become the top selling New Energy Vehicle in China with sales just under 2,000 units per month now, despite being launched in only two Chinese city markets (Tianjin and Shanghai).
BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said when the Tang is launched in Beijing this year, there will be another race. If any challenger of any standard-stock luxury class car beats Tang, BYD will provide a reward of 10,000 RMB (US$1,600) per challenger.
At the show, BYD emphasized that it is not phasing out its conventional car line-up. BYD’s “Green Mobility” evolution applies to the conventional car and New Energy Vehicles equally.