For years, every chance we got, Kyle Field and I asked BYD executives when they’d be bringing their electric vehicles to Europe and North America — even asking BYD Chairman, CEO, and Founder Wang Chuanfu himself (twice). We typically got vague answers, like, “someday, perhaps.” I finally got hint of the expansion beyond China approaching a couple of years ago at a hotel in Abu Dhabi while there for a renewable energy and e-mobility conference, but then nothing official came out in the following year. At long last, though, BYD is launching one of its popular electric vehicles in Europe, kicking off in Norway (naturally).
The BYD Tang EV, an all-wheel-drive SUV, will be distributed to buyers in the Norwegian market by RSA. It isn’t on sale yet, but BYD held a special pre-launch party in Oslo today, July 1.
The 2020 BYD Tang EV is supposed to go into production in November 2020, and Norway’s first buyers are expected to get the vehicle in January 2021. And after Norway, BYD will conquer the world … or something like that.
“Today marks not only the beginning of the Tang EV’s market trials in the Norwegian passenger car sector,” BYD said in a statement. “Following the gradual easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, BYD is also reaffirming its commitment to a wider European expansion programme when it will bring pure-electric van and truck models to selected commercial vehicle markets.”
As we’ve reported many times, BYD sells a wide selection of electric trucks and electric buses worldwide, some of which RSA will also sell for BYD in Norway. In that market, they will include “a panel van, 7.5-tonne and 19-tonne rigid distribution trucks and a yard tractor.” BYD already sells electric buses in the country and across Europe.
The 2020 Tang EV will use BYD’s breakthrough “Blade Battery,” a fully fire-resistant and explosion-resistant battery we covered earlier this year. Aside from its battery, BYD indicates that it cuts down on the cubic volume of the battery pack by a stunning 50%.
Presuming the Tang EV sells well in Norway, where electric vehicles now have more than 50% market share of the overall auto market, expect to see BYD sell more electric cars and SUVs there, and expect the company to expand into other European markets, and perhaps even North America someday.
“Although this is trial project, I have no doubt the Tang EV’s credentials will have enormous appeal to discerning car buyers in Norway and the car will establish itself as a firm favourite,” Frank Dunvold, the CEO of RSA, said. The SUV sector in particular is highly competitive and it is important that a new entrant to the market can offer some USPs. The Blade Battery, to name but one outstanding new feature, will appeal very much to a safety conscious public.”
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