BYD e6. (From BYD Auto website)
Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) Electric cars developed by China-based BYD Auto will make their debut in Taiwan early next year, the vehicle's local distributor announced Wednesday.
BYD Taiwan, a joint venture of BYD Hong Kong and Taiwan Solar Energy Co., said it has received orders from a local taxi association for more than 1,500 e6 cars, with delivery scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014.
The company said it has commissioned a local automaker to assemble the first BYD e6 vehicles to be sold in Taiwan to speed up regulatory inspections and approvals.
The BYD e6 is an all-electric crossover car that the carmaker says has a nominal range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) on a single charge (in an eTaxi duty-cycle), though the range may fall short of that under actual driving conditions.
BYD Taiwan Chairman Chen Wei-ren said the five-seat e6, which has primarily targeted fleet customers to date, is being used as a taxi in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and the Colombian capital of Bogota and will soon be launched in Singapore, London and the United States.
The car costs about NT$1.7 million (US$57,755), roughly three times the price for a traditional fuel-powered sedan.
Chen, who expects electric car sales to surge in Taiwan when the price of gasoline reaches NT$40 per liter, said the e6 will initially be offered in Taiwan to taxi fleets and car rental service operators.
(By Tien Yu-pin and Sofia Wu)