PHOTO CAPTION: BYD E6 electric crossover vehicle is slated for U.S. introduction later this year.

BYD Touts e6 Electric Crossover at NAIAS 2010

The E6 uses a battery pack weighing more than 400 kg (880 lb) and purportedly offers driving range of 200 miles per charge.

Published: 13-Jan-2010

DETROIT - Chinese automaker BYD Auto today rolled out a massive electric vehicle today that uses an "iron-based" battery to go more than 200 miles on a charge.

Known as the E6, the new vehicle will be marketed as a family-oriented crossover having roughly the same exterior dimensions as a typical family car. Weighing in at 5,060 lb, the new EV is 179 inches long and 64 inches high, making it significantly larger than most of the electric vehicles introduced to date. BYD introduced the E6, which is expected to be marketed in the U.S. later this year, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) here.

The E6 departs from previous EVs, not only in its size, but in its use of the company's so-called "Fe" battery. BYD officials at the show declined to describe the battery specifically other than to say that it is "iron-based," but it is believed to use a lithium iron-phosphate chemistry. A spokesman for the company said the battery's cost is approximately one-third that of lithium-ion batteries being used in competing EVs and its energy density is about 90 percent of that of lithium-ion. BYD officials said they are able to build the battery for low cost because BYD is "the biggest battery company in the world."


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