Video test – BYD Han EV: The Chinese electric sedan between Tesla Model 3 and Model S

If the BYD brand has been present in France for a few years, it is for its electric buses. Cars are arriving later than expected in Europe. So the large Han EV sedan that, with a length that puts it in direct competition with the Tesla Model S, should present a price list closer to the Model 3 Performance.

first confusing experience

Could the town of Beauvais, in the Oise, be a welcoming land for builders born on other continents? Since 1960, it has housed the Massey-Ferguson factory, which assembled its millionth tractor last June.

A few kilometers away, BYD opened its own electric bus assembly plant on August 27, 2018. However, the 4 candles could not be extinguished. Due to backlogs that were not being filled, the activity was transferred to Hungary last year. From this misfortune, we can extract several pieces of information.

Firstly, that BYD is the first Chinese electric car manufacturer excluding quadricycles (L6e and L7e categories) to have directly addressed the French connected vehicle market. We can also say that he was the first to try to invest in Europe via France. His desire to establish himself reached the point of opening an electric bus factory in our country.

by norway

If the first BYD electric cars were registered in France in October 2015 (2 copies of the e6), even before the Aiways U5 and MG ZS EV, the real rescue for transporting private electric drivers passes through Norway, where the other manufacturers are already installed. Chinese that are Voyah, Nio, Xpeng and Hongki, to name a few.

It is the most advanced market in Europe with regard to the wide adoption and use of electric vehicles. The country also benefits from a comprehensive charging network. “, justified Isbrand Ho, general manager of BYD Europe.

Integral motor skills

Expected in France before the end of this year 2022, ” this Han EV is reminiscent of a Honda […] for a 4-door coupe “, believes Maxime Fontanier. For my part, I find it a very close face to the Kia EV6. Lights up with Full LED lighting.

With its length of 4.98 m, it exceeds the symbolic centimeter of the Tesla Model S, and the lid of 7 cm (1.52 against 1.45 m). The American, however, maintains the advantage in width: 1.96 against 1.91 m.

Four-wheel drive is obtained from two permanent magnet motors that together develop a maximum power of 380 kW (516 hp). Enough to complete the exercise from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Which Maxime Fontanier managed to verify in a handling too fast. Note that there is a traction version in China, powered only by its front wheels.


blade batteries

To power your engine, the BYD Han EV has an original LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) blade battery. The latter are installed transversely across almost the entire width of the vehicle, without intermediate modules. The benefits of this architecture are numerous: better repairability as the blades can be changed individually, greater compactness, lightness and ease of adaptation by varying the number of these bars.

There just isn’t that. Just 10 years ago, BYD’s image was tarnished by a fire issue on the e6. Any danger seems avoided by the adoption of LFP blade batteries that also interest, among others, Porsche and Toyota. These blades resist being pierced with a nail, brought to a temperature of 300°C, and subjected to very high overloads without thermal runaway or emission of flames.

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The first figures announced for the pack’s energy capacity give way to the exploitable 85.4 kWh announced by Maxime Fontanier. The maximum charging power is surprisingly low compared to the competition: 120 kW. Located on the rear right, the hatch will house a Combo CCS connector for Europe.


Painting

The suspensions controlled in two modes (Comfort or Sport) at the heart of the BYD Han EV are based on a very classic architecture: McPherson in the front and multi-link in the rear. Ground connection is made by four 19-inch wheels equipped with 245/45 tires. The Y-patterns of the alloy wheels reveal the imposing ventilated disc on each side at the front licked by a Brembo 6-piston caliper.

In 2020, BYD has promised a braking distance reduced to 32.8 meters for a starting speed of 100 km/h, as well as a level of energy recovery to be among the best in the world. Nonetheless, ” the brake pedal does not provide an exceptional feel. She’s a little soft. Lacks a bit of progressivity in effort “, says Maxime Fontanier.

A plateau is felt between regenerative braking and pad braking “. What does not prevent you from being able very strong brake “. ESP can be inhibited to allow drifting.

trunk a little sparse

BYD is for “ built your dream “(Build your dreams”), as can be read fleetingly on the trunk lid during our video journalist’s tour of the Han EV. Like the Tesla Model 3, it is a four-door sedan, that is, without a tailgate.

With a double bottom sized just to accommodate charging cables and emergency equipment, the trunk offers a rigorous volume of 410 liters. It is crossed by the perforated seat back with a ski hatch. Shorter at 29 cm, the ” little “The American sedan offers more at this level: 561 liters, to which is added the frunk that the long Chinese car does not offer under the hood.

On the other hand, it can be used to power a device or, for troubleshooting purposes, another electric vehicle according to the principle of V2L (Vehicle-to-Load) also more explicitly called V2D (Vehicle-to-Device). The maximum power in this case is 3.3 kW.

sit in the back

As with the Tesla, access aboard the BYD Han EV is achieved by operating the retractable handles. We immediately discover in the background a presentation that plays with various gourmet colors, from cappuccino to chocolate, passing through caramel. We found the explanation of this reduced trunk behind the seat. Thanks to a wheelbase of 2.92 m, the space allocated to the legs is particularly generous.

If your knees are up, the long, tilted back seat eliminates any discomfort. A small service tunnel makes the middle square a little less pleasant.

The commands available here are impressive. In addition to the small slab to act on the tri-zone air conditioning, a touchscreen housed in the central armrest allows you to play with different configurations, including those on the front seat next to the driver. From this device, it is also possible, for example, to activate the heated seats in all four seats or hide the panoramic sunroof.

A very good manufacturing quality

Moving on to BYD Han, Maxime Fontanier thanks: ” Serious about build quality “. He quickly realized that it is possible to hide the internal surveillance cameras thanks to small sliding covers.” This is not the case for a Tesla “, he underlines.

The panel, with head-up display, is similar to the one on the BYD Tang. The central 15.6-inch tablet dedicated to vehicle settings and infotainment system can be rotated according to your wishes to adopt portrait or landscape mode. ” It’s fluid, it’s well done », evaluates the specialized journalist.

Special care has been taken with the light atmosphere on board which it is possible to intervene on, mainly in terms of intensity and colors. In front of the passenger seated next to the driver, the dashboard is backlit. Upholstery materials, usually with stitching, are placed in strategic areas, that is, at the level of the parts in contact with the occupants and under the eyes.

More than 500 km of autonomy

We have beautiful digital instrumentation “Judge Maxime Fontanier. He is also captivated by the buttons on the steering wheel that are well thought out with, on the left, those dedicated to driving aids and, on the other hand, what to do in the multimedia system. The trigger selector is surrounded by handy shortcuts to quickly change regen power, trigger mode, ventilation and more.

From the first few laps, the BYD Han EV feels heavy. His weight? Mystery! With the new figures regarding battery energy capacity and engine power, it is difficult to trust the old information. The lid man rates it at 2.4 tonnes, similar to the Tang 7-seater electric SUV.

This does not prevent the manufacturer from announcing a range of 521 km in the WLTP mixed cycle. In other words, a consumption of approximately 16.4 kWh/100 km, forgetting the various losses during driving and charging.

prices

The Chinese manufacturer must do like the Korean Hyundai and Kia, that is, offer a price comparable to the competition, slightly lower, but with a very high level of equipment. », considers the man in the cap. ” The idea is to have a large Tesla Model S-like sedan at the price of a Model 3 Performance “, he illustrates.

However, he suggests waiting until next October, when BYD will release its tariff schedules, to secure that trade policy. It is on this date that the Han EV long electric sedan will be officially presented in Paris, on the occasion of the Paris Motor Show.

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