Some armchair pundits have fully battery electric cars not reaching price parity with their equivalent petrol/diesel (ICE) versions in New Zealand until 2024 or even 2027. But what if I told you that next month for a price around NZ$35,000 you will be able to order for delivery in March/April 2022 a fully spec’d battery electric hatchback which will be as cheap as a high-end new Toyota Corolla. This car will have a real world range of at least 500 km and is capable of 0 – 100 km/hr in around 5 seconds.
I’m talking about the BYD EA2 hatchback launched at the Shanghai Motor Show recently.
Rather than 3 or even 6 years away, EV price parity will be arriving on New Zealand shores next year. When you factor in the substantially cheaper running costs and almost no maintenance for EV’s, this will be a game changer.
With over 500kms of range “range anxiety” vanishes. 95% of your charging will be done at home just like you do for your mobile phone.
At present the cheapest new EV available in New Zealand is the MG ZS with a price tag of around $50,000 and a range of only 230 km.
Australian firm Nexport will be bringing the EA2 and 4 other fully battery electric models to Australia and New Zealand. These will include a luxury sedan, a small commercial van and a crossover SUV.
BYD I hear you ask – never heard of them? They are the fourth largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world, and like Tesla are vertically integrated. They make their own batteries, computer chips and other componentry. Also, like Tesla, BYD/Nexport will not waste money on car dealerships so you will be able to order BYD vehicles over the internet. This sales method cuts $10,000-$15000 off the price. For repairs and faults under warranty a technician will come to your house or workplace.
The earlier version of the EA2 is the E2 which has been used for taxi services in China. There are reports of these vehicles , (which have a lower spec’d battery than the EA2) being driven for 450,000 – 500,000 km and the battery still only losing 15 – 20% of its range.
The new BYD “blade” battery can cope with around 3000 charging cycles without significant degradation. So it is likely the car will fall to bits well before the battery is degraded. Blade batteries have a much better fire safety record too.
Even after use in a car, the battery can be re-purposed for energy storage. When it finally reaches its end of life, up to 95% of the metals can be recycled
They also have a significantly higher charging rate than most lithium ion batteries adding 150 kms in about 5 minutes.
The battery cells are integrated directly into the structure of the vehicle, freeing up space in the event of an accident and increasing the rigidity and safety of the structure.
The EV revolution is coming to New Zealand much sooner than almost everyone imagines.
And before you begin a tirade about low quality Chinese-made products — remember how we used to say that about Japanese-made cars and how they now dominate the ICE car market. BYD has been making and exporting high quality fully electric trucks and buses for over 10 years.