New BYD e6 MPV set for UK launch with 258-mile range

BYD has quietly added a new electric MPV to its UK line-up, which looks to tempt taxi drivers with more than 250 miles of range and a capacious cabin.

Autocar has found official UK specifications for the second-generation e6, a five-seat MPV based on the Chinese-market Song Max. Although BYD refused to give more details, a launch here is expected to be imminent.

The original BYD e6 was the Chinese firm’s debut model in the UK, arriving in 2013, when the brand was little-known and EV technology was still in its nascence. 

Sold in low volumes, primarily to taxi firms, it had a real-world range of around 140 miles and performance that compared favourably with other early EVs and ICE alternatives. However, priced at £47,000 (equivalent to £67,000 today), it was far more expensive than the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Ampera and was pulled from the UK after just a year.

The sleeker second-generation e6, landing in 2021, is related to its predecessor in name only. It’s already sold in other right-hand-drive markets, including Australia, where it’s priced roughly in line with the MG ZS EV, suggesting a UK price in the low-£30,000s is possible.

byd e6 configurator side profile

At 4695mm long, with a wheelbase of 2800mm, the e6 is slightly larger than Stellantis’s small-van-based MPVs (the Citroën Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Toyota Proace and Vauxhall Combo) but smaller than the likes of the Volkswagen ID Buzz and Lexus LM.

Equipped with a chunky 71.7Wh battery, it’s capable of a competitive 258 miles per charge on the WLTP test cycle. However, it has a maximum charging speed of just 60kW so needs 90 minutes to get from 0-80% on a Type 2 fast charger. 

A single motor on the front axle makes 94bhp, taking the e6 from 0-62mph in 18.0sec.

Bolstering the car’s appeal with city-based taxi drivers will be its capacious, flat-floored cabin, 580-litre boot and 11.2-metre turning circle – the latter roughly in line with the Volkswagen Golf. 

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