The BYD Han Lands With A Splash In Both EV & Hybrid Variants

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BYD Targets Large Luxury Vehicles With Its New Han EV

The highly anticipated BYD Han is finally here, as it is now officially available for sale in China in three flavors of electric vehicle and as a more traditional hybrid. The new mid- to large-sized sedan establishes BYD as a significant player in the world of consumer-facing fully electric vehicles for the first time in the brand’s history.

The new BYD Han EV, looking hot in red. Image courtesy: BYD

The new Han EV will hit dealerships in four primary flavors. First off, the long range Han EV will be available starting at 229,800 RMB ($32,800). For those looking for a more posh experience, the long range premium Han EV will set buyers back 255,800 RMB ($36,500). And for those who need to get around even faster, a 4 wheel drive performance build of the Han EV will sell for 279,500 RMB ($40,000). A plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) version of the Han will also be available under BYD’s Dual Mode branding for 219,800 RMB ($31,400).

The fully electric configurations are the most exciting, as they truly establish BYD as a builder of consumer-facing fully electric, luxury electric vehicles for the first time. The majority of BYD’s vehicles are geared toward fleets, like its K9 buses, electric trucks, and the quintessential BYD E6 taxi. In addition, BYD has a full line of vehicles sold directly to individuals. The Han EV embodies all of the latest tech from BYD, its first vehicle to use the next-generation Blade Battery.

The technology inside is impressive, but before we dive too far into that, just look at it. The BYD Han is beautiful. It brings a new sleek aesthetic to the BYD family that promises to carry the brand forward into new market segments for global customers. Initially, the Han will launch in China, but with lines like this, it’s sure to appeal to customers around the world.

BYD has been making electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes for longer than most EV startups today were even a twinkle in the eye of the founders. Before it was a player in the automotive space, BYD built its business from the ground up as a force to be reckoned with in the battery space, producing batteries for a wide range of consumer electronic devices since 1995.

Even with that backstory, the Han promises to cut a new path forward for the Chinese company, starting with its battery pack. The long range fully electric Han sports a range of 376 miles (605 kilometers) per charge (NEDC), bringing the promise of long range affordable electric vehicles to millions of customers in China. That’s impressive, but BYD didn’t just cram tons of batteries into the car. It also brought its A game when it comes to performance. Further, the Han DM PHEV is no slouch when it comes to range, with a fully electric range of 81 kilometers (50 miles) — 800 kilometers (500 miles) with electricity and petrol combined.

The all-wheel-drive performance build of the Han EV is expected to achieve a 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 3.9 seconds, taking the title of the fastest production electric vehicle in China. The Dual Mode plug-in hybrid is no slouch either, with a time of 4.7 seconds.

“The Han has taken ten years from the concept stage to formal mass production,” Mr. Wang Chuanfu, President of BYD Co., Ltd., said. “Through our leading technologies, we have created three benchmarks for flagship EVs in terms of safety, performance, and luxury.” It’s like all the other vehicles were simply a means to an end for BYD and that end is the BYD Han. As much as it is the culmination of efforts, the BYD Han marks a new beginning for the company, as it is poised to usher in the era of mainstream electric vehicles in China and beyond.

Slipping into the Han, the attention to detail BYD paid to creating a beautiful space is obvious. Solid wood panels and aluminum trim provide firm lines and structure, while Napa leather softens the seats, creating an inviting feel.

When the time comes to get down to business, a tech-infused cockpit greets the driver in the form of the BYD DiPilot intelligent driving assistance system. DiPilot brings a full complement of advanced driver assistance systems to bear to make driving safer and less stressful. A next-generation adaptive stop-and go cruise control system makes driving the Han an experience unlike any other vehicle out there and sounds a lot like Tesla’s Autopilot system.

More mundane features like a forward collision warning system, a pedestrian identification and protection system, lane departure warnings, traffic sign reading, and more round out the DiPilot feature set. More advanced features like BYD’s ICC Intelligent Navigation System, the ICA Integrated Adaptive Cruise System, and the TJA Traffic Congestion Assistance System can be added as well, presumably with optional packages or included with higher trim levels.

The long range premium build and the 4WD high performance build also come with blind spot monitoring, lane-change assistance, rear collision early warning, and other more advanced ADAS functions, including a comprehensive automatic parking function.

The Han EV appears set up to lead its market segment in China, and the only question we’re left with is the one we have been asking BYD for years now: when can the rest of the world buy these beautiful, technology-infused, fully electric vehicles?

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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