BYD is making waves in the world of electric cars. Three weeks ago, it announced its new lithium-iron-phosphate Blade Battery that it claims is fire and explosion resistant while taking up far less space than a conventional lithium-ion battery pack. It said at the time the new battery would appear first in the Han, a sedan with contemporary styling that is supposed to go on sale in China soon. Now, BYD says the Han will be available in Europe, without specifying an on sale date. In early May, the company said it will begin selling its Tang 600 electric SUV in Norway later this year.
In a press release, BYD says the Han — named in honor of the Han Dynasty that ruled China from 206 BC to 220 AD — combines “the automotive industry’s most advanced EV technologies with exceptional performance, refinement and supreme luxury.”
Acceleration to 100 km/h is said to happen in just 3.9 seconds and maximum range is given as 605 km NEDC. The powertrain features a silicon-carbide motor control system and the Han will be the first production EV to feature Bosch’s Intelligent Integrated Brake System, which is said to improve braking precision, range, and comfort.
Autocar reports that technology is the prime focus of the new car, which will offer 5G connectivity to enable DiPilot — a system of driver-assist technologies capable of self-learning and self-evolution. The primary feature of the interior is a large touchscreen display that the driver can configure either horizontally or vertically. BYD says the Han will be priced between €45,000 and €55,000
According to Inside EVs, the Han will come with two available batteries, a 65 kWh unit good for 506 km of range will power cars with a single 163 kW electric motor driving the front wheels. A 77 kWh unit gives owners a choice of either single or dual motors. The front-wheel-drive configuration has the longest range — 605 km. The all-wheel-drive version adds a 200 kW electric motor for the rear wheels and has a range of 550 km.
The company says the Han can go from a 30% to an 89% state of charge using a DC fast charger. 10 minutes on a fast charger will add up to 135 km of range. The drag coefficient for the sedan is a very slippery 0.233. The Han is 4.98 meters long, 1.91 meters wide, and 1.495 meters high. It rides on a 2.920 meter wheelbase.
The Han will obviously appeal to much the same clientele as the Tesla Model 3. Which car is better? That will be up to individual drivers to decide. There are no reviews available yet, so it’s impossible to draw any firm conclusions other than to say the BYD Han could be one of those compelling electric cars Elon Musk has been begging other companies to make for years. We will try to arrange a test drive for one of our European contributors as soon as possible.