Clean Transport

Published on August 19th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


BYD Electric Box Truck Is BYD’s Next Electric Model

August 19th, 2014 by  

BYD certainly doesn’t have the rock star appeal of Tesla (though, it’s BYD Qin plug-in hybrid is apparently quite popular on the Chinese market). However, it has been a strong leader in the electric vehicle space. It has its e6, an electric car that has found its way into a number of taxi fleets; the Qin noted above; and I think most importantly, an electric bus that is cost-competitive with conventional buses, but much cleaner. It’s also a big battery innovator (that’s the primary expertise of founder, chairman, executive director, and president Wang Chuan-fu) and has recently begun production of lithium manganese iron phosphate batteries.

With all of that background plus the realization that we really need to electrify our trucks, not just cars and buses, I was psyched to see that BYD has just introduced an electric truck. Steve Hanley of GAS2 has more details in this Important Media cross-post:

Originally published on GAS2
By Steve Hanley

BYD Electric Truck

BYD, China’s largest maker of electric commercial vehicles, has recently introduced a new all-electric box truck called the T5. And though it has a range of 400 kilometers/250 miles per charge, it has a top speed of 50 kph, or about 31 MPH, making it ideal for delivery duty in China’s congested cities, but not much else.

The T5 will face stiff competition in the market place. Small trucks in China are almost as inexpensive as televisions and fuel prices are very low compared to other countries. That means the central government will need to provide hefty incentives to buyers to get them to pass up a conventional truck for one of BYD’s electric models. The company also builds a smaller T3 and a larger T7, though the electric T5 is the only one that has a battery pack, which is mounted underneath the cargo area between the front and rear axles.

China has enormous air pollution problems resulting from having millions of cheap vehicles with few if any pollution controls on its roads. If China can convert a significant percentage of the cargo trucks in its cities to electric models, that would go a long way toward improving urban air quality. We reported last week on a program to bring electric trucks to smoggy Southern California. Both here and in China, the days of the diesel-powered urban delivery truck are numbered, hopefully.

Source: Car News China

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Will E

    ban on electric rickshaw in Delhi by high court.

    Zachary, what is your opinion?
    the big cities need a ban on fossil tuktuks and trucks and all, and replace all by electric rickshaws, buses trucks.
    Reality is, they ban e-rickshaws.

    Respect for your your never ending not giving up on the matter,
    and grats for your beauty daughter.

    • Calamity_Jean

      “ban on electric rickshaw in Delhi by high court.”

      Did the court give any indication why?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Reading around a bit it seems that there are no regulations governing the use of electric-rickshaws. Obviously the auto-rickshaw industry opposes them. They take away customers.

        I suspect the courts are caught between pressure from the fuel sector and the lack of governing regulations. Municipal governments need to get some regs in place.

    • Matt

      Dang, I loved my e-Rickshaw in China. Quite, no stink from the 3 in front on me. We had a group of 5 rickshaws for about two hours to go thru the “old” city where my daughter in-laws family is from. Even a bit of “racing” so the no fumes was nice.

    • Wow, I hadn’t seen that, Have a good link?

  • Jouni Valkonen

    I think that electric trucks are already cost competitive in rapidly expanding market segment. Therefore it is little bit odd that only a small BYD with very limited production capacity is seriously pursuing electric trucks.

    • jeffhre

      But in car company terms it is a small low margin segment which does not support a go it alone strategy. Combining parts from different OEM’s with electric power-trains could serve the short route urban markets. But with low margins.

      OEM’s must be looking at BYD and thinking, these guys don’t give a *%@#$# about profits. But each vehicle is really a herculean effort at expanding the market for their batteries. A trojan horse with a boatload (or carload, busload, truckload) of BYD batteries. When they do market successful vehicles, each sale sends thousands of BYD batteries out the door.

      They will keep trying because a successful vehicle could eventually send billions of BYD’s batteries along their merry way.

    • JamesWimberley

      A Chinese investor is trying to rescue Smith Electric. But you are right, the level of investment is low compared to the market. Renault/Nissan would be the obvious candidate among the major carmakers, but Renault sold off its truck business in 2001 to Volvo. You can see why Warren Buffett has a large stake in BYD.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “a small BYD”

      BYD is a very large company. A major battery producer. They have a successful EV that is working great as an urban taxi. They are expanding their bus manufacturing into both North and South America.

      Now they’re looking at a new market, delivery trucks. Apparently they think there’s a decent sized niche for a limited speed truck and they’re going for it. There are lots of large Asia, and European, cities where one can’t zip along at highway speeds.

  • Adc

    And though it has a range of 400 kilometers/250 miles per charge, it has a top speed of 50 kph, or about 31 MPH, making it ideal for delivery duty in China’s congested cities, but not much else.

    The ‘and not much else’ is a silly jibe. Local delivery is a rising market globally.

    • JamesWimberley

      The K9 electric bus has a top speed of 96 km/h, so that of the T5 is presumably deliberately limited. This may be a mistake, as even on short routes delivery trucks use urban expressways.

    • Matt

      Inter city delivery is massive.
      And as for “China’s gas is so cheap no one there will buy these” that is easy for China to fix, they just let the gas price go up. Will also help their smog issues.

      • Bob_Wallace

        China has already made it much easier to use an EV in their cities.

        If the government sees e-vans as a further way to fight pollution they will simply ‘make it so’.

  • wattleberry

    Taxis will probably be the major factor in the accelerated adoption of EVs because, in their urban role, they don’t even have to await range improvement to be irresistibly beneficial and, such is their promotional value to manufacturers, huge discounts are bound to be on offer.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      After Model 三, at least in Western Europe there is just zero taxi entrepreneurs who will opt out to some alternative car than Tesla Model 三. I assume that by 2019, Tesla wont’t get any competition with its S三XY models.

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