Chinese EV maker ready to ‘electrify’ PH auto industry

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A BYD electric-powered passenger bus

Electric vehicle manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD) goes all out in the Philippines as it reveals its roster of electric vehicles to be made available in the Philippines: the BYD skyrail, buses, forklifts, and hybrid and full EV cars.

This was announced during a recent event at Le Pavilion, Pasay City, where the hall was filled with a display of electric-powered buses, e-forklifts, and cars, and graced by principals of BYD from China, BYD Philippines, and local government officials from Iloilo and Bataan.

BYD has been known as an EV maker since 2003. The brand first made global headlines when American billionaire financier Warren Buffet took a 10-percent stake in the company in 2008.

What attracted Buffet, according to auto journalist Tony Lewin, was “not its fledgling range of cars but the parent company’s expertise in lithium batteries and its bullish plans for applying those batteries to electric vehicles.”

BYD said that it is partnering with the local governments of Iloilo and Bataan for the development of the company’s Skyrail system.

Present during the event were Bataan Governor Abet Garcia, Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas, Mayor Francis Garcia of Balanga, Mayor Jose Espinosa of Iloilo, BYD Asia Pacific GM Liu Xueliang, BYD Global GM for branding and PR Sherry Like, BYD bank partners, and motoring media.

“Since BYD’s inception in the Philippines, we have been preparing for the day that the Philippines will be ready for electric cars. That day is today. When we started in the Philippines, we launched our e6 and became the first to bring in an EV in the Philippines. We worked with government and various stakeholders and shared with them the astounding benefits of EVs not only to the environment, but also to the economy and its owners.

“Today, with the TRAIN law, the leadership in Philippine government recognized the benefits of electric cars and granted zero excise taxes for electric cars,” said Mark Andrew Tieng, BYD Philippines’ managing director.

Tieng added: “We move ahead into changing the game in transportation, guided by our mission, to be the leading mobility solutions provider, built on excellence in technological innovations, committed to environmental sustainability and delivering the best brand ownership experience by a team of passionate individuals.”

BYD Philippines would be bringing in an EV range through Solar Transport and Automotive Resources (STAR) Corp., headed by Tieng.

The EV range includes the BYD Tang, a 7-seater plug-in electric hybrid executive SUV, which has design lines that exude innovation with its curvy body and sharp headlights.

The 12 Tang units, recently brought in by BYD Philippines, was sold out, mostly to government officials, according to BYD staff.

This author was given a chance to drive the P3.288-million SUV briefly along Macapagal Avenue. As expected, the vehicle had no emissions, noise, vibration, power lag, but had power on demand for its range of 80 km on pure EV mode.

The Tang is also powered by a 2-liter turbo gasoline engine, providing the convenience of having an EV without the range anxiety.

The combination of turbo engine and electric mode gives a total power output of 505 hp on hybrid electric sport mode. It can also go from zero to 100 kph in less than 5 seconds.

According to BYD, this plug-in hybrid is a vehicle that can be charged from a 220V socket at home or at work, allowing anywhere, anytime charging.

Another feature is the vehicle to load (V2L), which allows one to use the vehicle’s battery as a power source when one is off-grid.

BYD displayed several applications of the V2L, showing a popcorn maker and a coffee machine being powered by the battery of a Tang.

BYD Philippines also announced that it will be bringing in this year the BYD e5, a pure EVs 5-seater sedan with a range of 300 kms on a single charge and a maximum speed of 130 kph.

The company will also bring in the e6’s 2018 model, which is capable of running at a range of 400 kms on a single charge with a maximum speed of 140 kph.

BYD Philippines also announced that STAR Corp. would be in charge of the distribution of BYD’s material handling equipment.

BYD said, in a press statement, that these are “powered by the same battery technology making BYD the No. 1 EV manufacturer in the world from 2015-2017.

“This lithium ion iron phosphate battery offers a long life span of 4,000 cycles, equivalent to about 10 years. It is maintenance-free and requires up to two hours of charging.

“A savings in operational cost of about 80 percent compared to diesel and 50 percent compared to other lead acid electric forklifts has been recorded.

“This revolutionary material handling lineup has been shaking up the material handling industry in other parts of the globe, taking operational efficiency to new levels, a testament to BYD’s goal to provide its customers with the best advancements available in technology.”



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