From batteries to semiconductors, the Chinese BYD to the assault on the European car market

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Before even manufacturing cars, the Chinese BYD, acronym for Build Your Dreams (build your dreams), had started producing batteries. Founded 27 years ago, in February 1995, the company claims to be completely private and, recently, also the primacy of registrations of new energy battery vehicles (rechargeable hybrid or electric): 638,000 between January and June (already 2, 3 million so far). Tesla is already in the crosshairs, which could be the leading brand for zero-emission volumes. Most importantly, BYD emphasizes that it is “the only company in the world to master key technologies of new energy vehicles”, namely semiconductors, accumulators, motors and controls. It has been present in Europe for some time: in Hungary and, through a joint venture, in the United Kingdom it has been manufacturing electric buses for some time: between those on the road and those ordered, it is about 3,000 units, a part of which also circulates in Italy, for example. in Turin.

From the summer of 2021, that is 16 years after unveiling the first car, the F3, it debuted in Norway, a market sensitive to sustainability and a bridgehead towards Europe. In the coming months, coinciding or almost concurrently with the Paris Motor Show (18 – 23 October), the first of various offensives will take place. Thanks to the agreements signed with a series of distributors, BYD will debut in Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Israel, a nation whose responsibility lies with the 40-year-old Milanese Gianmaria Adamo, who arrived from Tesla via Zagato, who is also the country manager for the beautiful country.

Before Italy, BYD’s electric models will be marketed in Germany, Great Britain and, among others, in neighboring Austria. For the time of the debut, the managers of the Chinese company remain more than buttoned up, despite the characteristics of at least one of the models, the Act 3 (we refer to it separately), seem suitable for the national market: the end of next year could be a ‘ hypothesis not too risky. Prices are also strictly reserved: Norway can, however, serve as a reference. The 7-seater SUV with a length of 4.87 meters Tang is in the price list starting from the equivalent of about 60,000 euros and has already been delivered in over 2,200 units. The elegant 5-meter-long Han sedan should have a similar positioning: however, VAT must be added to both models, which in Norway is not applied. The price, says Pere Brugel, the Catalan torn from Tesla who has been entrusted with sales in the Old Continent, will not be the main element of the offer. The goal is to stand out as a premium brand (fittings, equipment and road set-up legitimize this aspiration), albeit accessible. How many zeros this definition corresponds to is not yet known.

With 11 research centers, 40,000 engineers out of a total of 290,000 employees, BYD can afford to work “fine”, as demonstrated by the 27,000 patents already recognized. The Blade Battery system – which BYD presents not only as safer, but also as more efficient – seems to be quite in demand, even if supply contracts with other manufacturers have not yet been signed. The exception is Toyota, which has partnered with the Celestial Empire Hi-Tech company to accelerate electrification.

Both the Tang and the Han were born on the same platform and it is no coincidence that they share four-wheel drive (one motor per axle), power (517 Hp), maximum speed (180 km / h) and recharge times (half an hour for a full 30 to 80%). In addition to their design, they stand out for their performance. The aerodynamic sedan shoots from 0 to 100 in 3.9 ” with the launch control and is credited with a range of over 520 kilometers in the Wltp cycle with the 85.4 kWh battery), while the SUV reaches 100 all ‘now in 4.6’ ‘(the on-board computer even indicates 4.4), but with a slightly larger accumulator (86.4 kWh) travel up to 400 kilometers. The good news, at least according to an independent research conducted in Norway, is that the deviation from the real range is just 11%, the best result obtained by the more than 30 electric cars examined in the Scandinavian country.

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