First month experience of BYD E6

Posted on: 31 Jan 2024

Category: English Blog

Blog Views: 95

"The BYD E6 promises space, comfort, range, safety and reliability. And it looks like no gimmick, no nonsense car!"

Crystal White

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's been little over a month since I am owning BYD E6. This is a first month / short term review of the car. While any car needs 2 to 3 years of ownership to comment wisely, the first impression is also important. So here we go ...

 

  Before buying this car, I took nearly 2-3 months on research. The brand BYD and EV cars were both aliens to me. But when I first test drove the car, I simply fell in love with it. I have been an Innova car owner for over a decade, had owned two generations of Innova's which is arguably the best long term / long drive cars on Indian roads. When I first test drove E6, I felt as if I was driving an electric Innova. Toyota does have the latest Innova Hycross, but it's not a plug-in hybrid, is way too expensive and has a long waiting period. I needed a pure EV or a plugin Hybrid so that I can make use of the excess power that the roof top Solar plant was generating at home. I don't have high kilometres of running every month so EV is not a most ideal use case for me. But I wanted to experience the EV and possibly increase my driving if the running cost is nearly free or just Rs 1.50 per kilometre. For those who clock more than 25,000 kms a year, BYD E6 should be a consideration.

 

  I purchased this car from PPS BYD at Mahadevapura, Bangalore. Mr. Deepak and Mr. Syed have been very professional in the whole buying process. There were no over the top follow-ups and praises of the car, they explained everything about both the cars in the offering (Atto3 is the other one), they answered every question I had in my mind. I did not have a team of sales guys calling me every 2nd day about the decision just because you test drove the car. They delivered the car in 5-6 business days once I decided on it. There was no over the top "delivery event" at the dealership something I personally feel embarrassed when taking car deliveries these days. BYD E6 has just one variant (so is Atto3), so there is question or confusion of which trim to go for, what type of accessories to install. It's a car which is fully packaged, and you just take it and drive it. It was that simple!

    Speaking of simplicity, that's exactly what BYD E6 tries to be. It’s a simple car! There are no gimmicky features, just packed with enough details to have a good ride. The car focuses on space, comfort, range, safety and reliability. Let me explain each of these in detail.

  •     Space: The car has oodles of space. It's the size of Innova but with 5 seats, no third row! So you can imagine the amount of space on offer. The driver and the co-passenger seats on the front have enough back support, under thigh support, recline angle, seat adjustments etc. The seats can be manually (yes manual! no gimmicky button that you press and wait) adjusted for height, recline and reach. There is enough leg room, the pedals for the driver are large and ergonomically placed. The visibility is very decent, although the thick A-pillar can cause a small blind spot in curved roads, but you will get used to it and use the small glass area between the mirror and A-pillar to see what's coming. It just takes few hours of driving to get used to that.

  The back seat however is the special mention here. You get enough leg room, under thigh support and a good recline angle. The flat floor makes the back seat even more spacious. You can comfortably seat three adults who are six and half foot tall. And I am not kidding. In fact you can travel with 5 six and half footers in this car very easily making them comfotable, which even Innova may struggle! And if they all have five huge suitcases, then no problem. The boot is also so big that you can pack 4-5 suitcases or you can seat another six footer or two kids. Yes, you can sit in the boot, my kids enjoyed it (for short journeys).

  The car rightly has "space" badged on the window.

 

  •   Comfort: Being an EV, the NVH levels is something that's a given. The cabin is obviously super silent, the humming sound at low speeds (less than 30 kmph) is a bit annoying, but it's meant as a warning for pedestrians so I will respect that. The ride quality is very good, it handles potholes and bumps without much fuss. There is fair amount of body roll if the road is uneven. But out on the highways, at speeds of 100 kmph the car is well planted, smooth and comfortable. The max speed mentioned is 130 kmph and you can push it to that speed. The power figure on the spec sheet is 90 PS and 180 Nm torque. For ICE cars these are poor numbers, but on the E6 EV it is more than sufficient. Availability of power and torque directly from the motor without a complicated transmission system in between, gets you instant power and torque. I could easily cover fully loaded car on a hill section (Shiradi ghats) on a hot day with full AC on. The overtaking is also easy. If you floor the accelerator, it won't race away like other EV cars, but it gives a linear acceleration without any jerks. The handling of corners, turns, the turning radius are all very good for a car of this size. To sum it up it's a super smooth car both in city and highways, only small negative is a bit of body roll.

 

  •   Range: The WLTP figures of the car is 425 kms on a single charge, with max range of 500 kms. To my surprise on my first long drive, I covered 400 kms at 71% of battery consumption which translates to a range of 560 kms! I later realized that this was due to about 40 kms of downhill roads where 10% of the charge was regenerated. On the way back the same 400 kms needed 88% of the battery because of the uphill. So, on flat roads on light foot (80 to 100 kmph) you can easily expect 500 kms to a full charge. The same can be said about city drives. On chaotic Bangalore city drives I get close to a 500-520 kms of range (at max regen setting). The instrument panel has a nice display of KWh per 100 kms. If you keep that to 15 KWh or less, then you will get 500 kms range. But if you drive it like a race car with harsh accelerations then range might drop to 450 kms or even less. So, all in all, it delivers the promised range on practical conditions. It’s not just on paper like other cars.

 

  •   Safety: The car build does look strong and assuring. The thuds of door and bonnet are a proof of that. Also the A-pillar thickness, the roof thickness and lining does give a lot of confidence about the build quality of the car. Most BYD cars have 5-star rating with the scores in each category on the higher side than on the lower side of 5-star requirements. The new E6 is not yet crash tested, but the previous generation does have 5-star rating and most likely this one too will get 5-star. There are 4 airbags, should have been 7 but BYD seem to have confidence in its build quality. The other safety features like ABS with EBD, ESC, all 4-disc brakes, TPMS, seat belt warning for all passengers are all present. Headlights are old school halogen lamps, but they do a good job of providing visibility at night.

 

  •    Reliability: Talking about reliability, the battery pack has a 8 years 5,00,000 kms warranty. BYD's blade battery used in this car have the highest level of safety with nail penetration tests, truck driving over the battery, some guy trying to burn the battery etc. Being a lithium iron phosphate battery makes it more reliable than lithium-ion cobalt counterparts. The battery has a 3,000 charge cycle on the low end, going up to 10,000 cycles. If you take 3,000 charge cycle with each charging session taking the battery from 10% to 100% and a range of 480 kms, what this means is a battery life of 12,00,000 kms! In other words if you run 300 kms every day for 365 days of the year it will still take you 10 years to reach 12,00,000 kms. That's the battery reliability (on paper at least). In countries like Malaysia / China / Singapore there are E6s that have run 8,00,000 kms and still doing great. So, it's not just a figure on paper, only time will tell about the battery reliability at a larger sample size

 

  So that's all there is to this car Comfort / Range / Safety & Reliability. In the first month I am already experiencing this. It's an easy to drive car and may not be the fun to drive car which certain section of owners expect these days. BYD E6 has so far impressed me with its promise, and I am excited about EVs in general now after just a month.

   

  The car has a big list of features that are missing. This may be a deal breaker for some, here is the list of misses and my opinion about it:

 

  •   Sun roof /moon roof or whatever you call it. Totally useless for Indian roads and safety norms. It is not meant for kids to stand with their necks out on a moving car and pose danger.
  •   360 degree camera. Fine, I go with my good old judgement on car dimensions. Can live with it.
  •   auto dimming iRVM. Big deal, just tap the mirror which is within your reach.
  •   powered tailgate. Good miss for me, I can open and close the hood at the speed I want rather than waiting for the motor to operate. One less switch to operate (and break!)
  •   Cruise control / ADAS. I will feel it a miss the day Indian drivers drive sensibly on road. Never could use Cruise control for more than 5 minutes before I came across an idiotic drive. ADAS? not me...
  •   Front parking sensors. This is a big miss for me, it does help on a car of this dimension.
  •   auto folding RVM. Another miss for me. It's really pain to close the passenger side mirror from the driver seat. It's a wide car and inconvenient to do it manually.
  •   cup holders / arm rest for second row. I have a mixed opinion about it. While it helps if there are only one-two passengers on the second row, the folding cupholder/arm rest would have made the bump on the seat / back support for the middle passenger. I have purchased a removable arm rest and storage box which can be placed in the middle when needed.
  •   missing third row for the size of the car. The choice is between huge boot space vs cramped third row. I like the huge boot space, for short journey's someone can sit in the boot as well.  
  •  Ventilated seats. For a place like Bangalore it's not a huge miss. On hot days I can use the remote start, windows down features to cool down the cabin before entering the car. Also, I am not a sweaty guy
  •   Connected car technology. The fact that there is no sim in the car that traces my locations and journey details to a central server of the car manufacturer(and this one is Chinese) is good thing for me!
  •   Puddle lamp. I would have liked it, as it helps in dark places and public parking where you don't know what's beneath the door opening space.
  •   Below average music system. Many reviewers said it's bad. I do agree radio playback is very poor, but when you connect bluetooth and play Amazone music, Spotify the quality is impressive. I tested it with few customary speaker testing songs and the result are satisfactory. The sound quality is more natural and does not sound like an over engineered sound. So, the music system is good for me.
  •   Only one a/c vent for the back. It does the job of cooling the cabin quickly and that's what it matters. Not how many a/c vents are there or where they are placed. Saying this after a long journey on packed car in the day light. No one complained a/c is not good.

 

  Last but not the least, some facts about EV charging. Thankfully with a 500 km range you don't need frequent charging, but when you charge it does take time to charge a big 70 Kwh battery. Always choose a fast charger with 30 KWh or more speed. There are many 50 Kwh public chargers. On long journeys I recommend charging the battery when you stop for breaks. There are apps like Plugshare, Tata power, Statiq, Jio BP which will help you locate a restaurant + public charger. So, a fair bit of planning is needed. You can easily do 500 kms or more in a day by one charging + food stop. And the hotel you stay overnight should have a charging facility or should have one within 5 km radius so that you can fast charge in the night or early morning before you hit the road next day. You need to plan this in trips, EV cars are not something you can take wherever you want without a plan about recharging.

    Each passing day, I am loving the BYD E6 experience. Hoping this is a good start to a long ownership with this car!

 

 

Tags: BYD E6, BYD E6 review, EV, EV experience






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