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BYD to provide 50 e6 EVs to Opoli’s San Diego ride-sharing fleet

https://opoli.com , a ridesharing service and app based in San Diego, has partnered with China-based BYD Motors Inc, which will provide 50 e6 EVs to the Opoli fleet as part of a green initiative. The BYD electric crossover will join Opoli’s natural gas airport shuttles late summer 2015. Opoli has been allotted charging spaces at the docking station at the San Diego International Airport.

This partnership comes weeks after Opoli launched services in the San Diego area, including being the first rideshare service permitted at the San Diego International Airport. Opoli functions under a name-your-price model, connecting drivers and ride seekers to agree upon a fare, with 100% of the fare going to the driver’s account. Rides can be booked in advance or on demand via the Opoli app, available for iOS and Android.

The e6 has been incorporated in fleets in Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Rotterdam, Bogota and Rio de Janeiro. BYD says that more than 800 are in operation as public eTaxis worldwide, with an accumulated fleet range of more than 45 million miles (72 million km).

The e6 is equipped with a 75kW motor and a 61.4 kWh BYD-developed lithium iron-phosphate battery, delivering a range of 186 miles (299 km) on a single charge under urban conditions. Top speed is 87 mph (140 km/h).



So BYD will be allowed to import 60 vehicles into the USA. This may have the guise of a pilot test but could this be the initial thrust of a marketing scheme ?

I wonder how soon after this they are going to apply for dealerships - manufacturer owned of course.

The recent low price of oil, and likely to remain low if EV penetration continues to be successful, is certainly making shipping costs from the Far East more attractive.

Next question is : will the Trade Commission allow it ?

Well look no further than a recent story here on GCC. It seems that in the case of Mitsubishi, which just announced the imminent closing of its US manufacturing facility in November 2015, the intention is to consolidate production at its home plant in Osaka from which an estimated 100,000/yr of their Outlander model can be exported into North America.

The concern I have, as a TSLA stockholder, is that this car has a 61.4Kwh battery which brings it close to Tesla for range. The only serious competitor ATM being the Nissan Leaf whose battery has just 24Kwh in contrast.

Not everyone wants, or is able to pay, the performance premium that ownership of a Tesla requires but here in the snow belt the range in winter temperatures needs the boost that a ~60Kwh battery will provide.

In just over two years time we are to expect the Tesla Model E to enter this market with a battery of similar size. Speculation has been that it will use the 188Hp rear motor transaxle from the 70D.

That said, I like that BYD is shipping this vehicle with only a 100Hp (75Kw) motor with a reasonable expectation to me of it having the performance equivalent of a 150Hp ICE. The selection of this size of motor is an assurance that the battery is unlikely to be abused nor have the motor performance susceptible to battery state of charge.

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