BYD has officially launched its Qin model in China, a new and high tech, performance-based hybrid car intended to target key world markets. European availability of a similar but probably renamed model is planned for early 2015.
The dual mode Qin can accelerate from 0 to 100kph (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 185kph (115 mph) with a claimed overall fuel consumption of up to 1.6 L/100km (177mpg). The Qin can be driven in pure electric mode for up to 70km (44 miles), a distance which BYD research indicates will satisfy most daily travel needs and is believed to be by far the longest achieved by a PHEV (at least twice the range of competitor models). For long distance journeys the car uses its BYD 1.5TID petrol engine thus eliminating any ‘range anxiety’ associated with battery power vehicles.
When the first 100 Qin cars were put on sale on line in China, BYD set a record for new car sales anywhere. All 100 cars were snapped up by eager buyers in just two seconds – thought to be a record in the car industry. About 95,000 people had visited the BYD e-shopping mall, 6,000 actually registered and 23,405 were online when the sale began. An incredible 4,155 of them rushed to purchase the innovative new model from BYD.
The new car utilises the technology pioneered and fully proven in the original BYD F3DM model, of which many tens of thousands have been sold. As a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) the Qin can be recharged at any normal household socket. When power is low or there is an on-demand need for ultimate acceleration the HEV mode is activated; this can be programmed either automatically or manually. The Qin also generates electric recharging power during deceleration – either by means of engine braking or via the foot brake – typically contributing 2.5 to 3 kWh every 100km (62 miles).
The Qin offers four fully matched driving functions – EV+ECO, EV+SPORT, HEV+ECO and HEV+SPORT modes. These can be selected by the driver, commanding the appropriate blend of economy and performance for any driving condition.
All models in the Qin family feature a 12.1-inch TFT instrument panel, smart key system and BYD’s unique remote driving facility, which allows the car to be manoeuvred remotely at very low speed from the outside of the vehicle where permissible.
Standard safety features include Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electric Park Brake, ISO-FIX mounting points for child safety seats, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Control Deceleration Parking and 12 air bags.
The Qin family includes advanced internet connectivity encompassing a Cloud-based services system, currently available only in China, which brings together the intelligence technology and interactive experiences into one driver-friendly control unit.
The BYD Qin, spearheading a range of BYD petrol, hybrid and pure electric cars for the consumer market, is expected to be launched in Europe in early 2015. Initial prices in China prior to any EV subsidies range from €23,725 to €26,225 (£19,645 to £21,715).