Keep Dangling the Carrot: BYD Postpones General Release of the All-Electric e6 Yet Again

This week BYD tells reporters that the all-electric, highway-capable e6 will not come to the dealers until September 2011. That will be over two years from the first release date it set. Yet, the company continues to brag that it will be the world’s first to mass produce high speed EVs. We suspect the talk this time would not help much with its sagging stock price.

The e6 was first introduced to the media in early 2008, when Wang, Chuanfu, Chairman of BYD, said it would be launched the following year. However, no one saw an e6 on road in the whole year of 2009. Then the company projected an early 2010 release, and then a late 2010 release. When both obviously would fail to materialize, BYD began to cite limited production capacity and lack of government subsidies as what prevented a general release this year.

byd e6

No words have ever been said on technical challenges. The e6 was the secret weapon that would make BYD the No.1 automaker around the globe by 2025, according to Chairman Wang.

Sure, a BYD subsidiary employed about 40 units of the e-car a few months ago as taxicabs. We saw the photos. However, the company has been tight-lipped on what kind of real service these cars have been providing and how they have performed.

Now the EV subsidy programs from both the central government and the city of Shenzhen, where BYD is based, are in effect, and every individual purchase of e6 would come with a reward 120,000 yuan (the projected retail price of e6 is around 300,000 yuan). The money would be paid directly to the manufacturer (instead of the buyer), and yet, BYD seems in no hurry to be the beneficiary.