- 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)
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
Because the E6 is so large, it uses a battery pack weighing
"more than 400 kg" (880 lb), BYD officials say. (Experts at the show suggested
that the battery pack could weigh significantly more than 400 kg). "Yes, it's
bigger," said Paul Lin, a BYD spokesman. "But it costs less and is safer than
lithium-ion. That's what's important."