Tesla rival BYD to launch flagship electric car in Europe

The Han is expected to cost between €45,000 and €55,000 when it rolls into the European showrooms

Competition for Tesla is hotting up with the news that Chinese carmaker Build Your Dreams (BYD) has chosen Europe to launch its new mid-sized Han electric saloon. The sharp-looking, 5-metre-long Han limousine will make its Chinese debut in June 2020 before heading for Europe.

Once there, it is set to square up against the Tesla 3 which will be produced from late 2021 at a custom-made factory being built in Berlin. At present Tesla 3 models for Germany are imported.

BYD has not set an exact date for the Han's European introduction but the company has revealed some details of its design inspiration and high-tech equipment. The maker said the Han is named after a Chinese dynasty and adopts what the company calls its new "EV Dragon Face" design language. This blends elements of a traditional Chinese Dragon with modern European design cues.

Some buyers might not get the dragon references but BYD said the the curved front-end and day-time running lights of the Han evoke the shape of a traditional Chinese dragon’s face, blending style and functionality.

"We believe that the Han EV combines the best of Eastern wisdom and Western aesthetics," said BYD's Engineering vice-president Yubo Lian.

As reported by dpa, powertrain details are scanty but BYD said the car is equipped with new "blade battery" technology which enhances battery longevity and safety compared to EVs using normal lithium-ion battery packs.

BYD claims a usable range of just over 600 kilometres on a full charge for the Han. The saloon can dash from from zero to 100km/h (62mph) 3.9 seconds, thanks to cutting edge, silicon-carbide motor control system. Top speed has not yet been given.

The Han also uses the "DiPilot" intelligent driving assistance system which is said to be self-learning and features 5G connectivity. The Han is expected to cost between €45,000 and €55,000 ($49-60,000) when it rolls into European showrooms.

BYD is best known for its electric buses which have sold in their thousands around the world.

Similar articles