BYD Zimbabwe recently launched the T3 electric van in the Zimbabwean market. This made it the first company to introduce brand new electric vehicles in Zimbabwe. Previously, EV enthusiasts and early adopters had been importing some EVs directly from the United Kingdom and Japan, but these were mostly used vehicles and were predominantly preowned Nissan Leafs.
BYD’s entry into Zimbabwe should help catalyze the adoption of brand new EVs, giving consumers the comfort of full service back up and warranties, which are key concerns for potential corporate customers. BYD Zimbabwe has just opened its new EV experience center as well as a service center where people are welcome to come in for a coffee and check out the EVs. They say seeing is believing, and now that consumers have an opportunity to come in and see full electric vehicles for themselves, interest is growing from corporates and fleet operators. The EV Centre is the first dedicated EV Dealership in Zimbabwe and is probably also the first in most of sub-Saharan Africa. Having an EV-only dealership will go a long way in raising awareness and sends a positive message in the market that EVs are here now and not just a plan for the future. The EV Centre is strategically located on the main road to Harare’s International Airport, making sure that one can’t miss the big sign to or from the airport.
BYD Zimbabwe has now added a second model to its product range. It has just introduced the new BYD E6 with the revolutionary Blade battery. The Blade battery uses cobalt-free LFP (LiFePO4) cells in module-less CTP (cell-to-pack) configuration. The E6 comes with a 70 kWh battery, with an estimated range of 450 km in the WLTP cycle. It has an AC permanent magnet synchronous 70 kW motor.
Some of the other specs are:
- Top speed: 130 km/h
- Battery capacity: 70 kWh
- Fast Charging: DC CCS2 60kW (1.5h)
- Slow Charging: AC Type2 6.6kW (12h)
- Max. torque of front motor: 180 Nm
It’s really good to see that BYD Zimbabwe is working hard to get as many right-hand drive models to Zimbabwe as it possibly can. In China, BYD is moving to have all its EVs incorporate the Blade battery and has some really great models available in left-hand drive in China, such as the BYD Han, the E2, and the Tang EV SUV. The Tang EV will soon be available in Norway. SUVs are really popular in sub-Saharan Africa with corporate and government customers, so the Tang will do well here. Let’s hope BYD will make right-hand drive models of the Tang and the flagship Han luxury sedan available soon so we can get them in this part of the world. The Zimbabwean EV scene looks to be shaping up quite nicely with buy-in from policy makers and other stakeholders. Zimbabwe’s energy regulatory authority (ZERA) recently acquired a 62 kWh Nissan Leaf e+ in a bid to raise awareness in the country.
All images by Remeredzai Kuhudzai