Car maker BYD (Build Your Dreams) claim that the new E6 electric car due out at the end of the year will achieve 250 miles on a single charge. The E6 will sell for £30,000 and is aimed initially at the eco-conscious California market. When the price comes down with mass production, it'll be rolled out properly in China.
The E6 is spacious with room for five passengers and a good-sized boot. The battery tucks under the back seat. The battery needs 7-8 hours with a domestic plug to charge the car but BYD says a specially developed fast charging point with a lead the diameter of a fire hose will fill up the car in just one hour, half a charge could take only ten minutes. If the claims are accurate and BYD can persuade either the Chinese government or a Chinese city to install a network of the fast chargers, then the E6 could be the vehicle that makes the breakthrough for electric cars. Whether the claims are accurate to the letter or not, the E6 is a marker that China expects to dominate energy storage technologies which could become much more important if the world makes a significant shift towards renewable power.