2021 BYD e6 review – Electric MPV with a claimed 500km range | First Drive | Autocar India
What we have with us today is rather interesting. This is the all new byd e6 and it is indias first, electric mpv. Now we do love our mpvs weve, seen that with the nova weve seen that with the ertiga, so the idea of an empv is rather tempting. However, with the e6, there is a problem right off the bat. It is a commercial vehicle which means private owners, cant really get their hands on one. So what are we doing with it? Well, it also has a 71.7 kilowatt hour battery that claims a range of over 500 kilometers, and that is the point we are most interested in, but before we get going, dont forget to subscribe to autocad india and hit that bell icon, so youre notified each time. We put out content now, since the e6 is a commercial mpv, the design takes a back seat on the priority list. That said, it doesnt look drab or outdated from any angle. The front, especially, is bold thanks to the large halogen headlamps with led drls, and then you have the closed off grille with hexagonal cavities that give it a modern look. Lowdown the bumper is straightforward and nothing about the front is shouty over to the side. It is the length of the e6 that will impress the lengthy wheelbase is also a good indication of the amount of space on the inside, along with a dedicated badge that says space on the c pillar.
The 17 inch wheels also offer a proportionate stance, and the 215 55 tires have a good amount of tire wall to take on our battered roads. What is also a nice touch is the dual tone scheme of the paint. The blue and black theme is the only other alternative to the white. However, void is looking at bringing in a full black on popular demand. The rear is again understated and no nonsense and nothing on the e6 screams about its green nature, an unapologetic mpv then, but what about the interior now step inside the e6? And everything here is very clean and uncluttered. In fact, the dashboard has not a single button. Music, the layout might be simple, but there are bits that make it feel a bit upmarket, like the large glossy panel on the dashboard low down on the center console, though you will find a bunch of switches. Now there are various functions here. You have automatic climate control, you have the eco mode, you also have something that will change your region and, of course, down you have the drive selector. You also have two cup holders and a tray. This is not a wireless charger, but it is a nice tray to keep your phone. However, it is on the top that all the action is, this 10.1 inch touchscreen its crisp, its responsive, and it has all the functionality packed into it. The screen is what houses all the settings like the hvac controls and a lot more also, since it is android based.
You can also download various apps and it also displays things like your battery performance and regen functionality. Now you dont get apple, carplay or android auto on the e6, but because it is android based, you can download google maps, and that is a big plus. Also, one neat trick that this has is, if you rotate it clockwise, it now turns into a portrait style tablet, and that again i mean its only for aesthetic purposes. Nothing really changes apart from the orientation but thats about it and it for the driver. You have a relatively basic layout, you have analog dials, you get an mid screen that gives you your battery capacity. How much charge is left, how much range you have and you have a fairly straightforward steering as well now. This thing also misses out on cruise control, which is why you dont see too many buttons on the steering. The e6 is a commercial vehicle, so in relative terms it does get some decent features. You get a reversing camera tire pressure, monitor four airbags, abs with esc hill start assist and also a virtual sound for pedestrian safety under 30 kilometers per hour. As an mpv, you get a good view out of the road. You know a lot of glass area. These quarter glasses in the air pillars work well as well. You have big or vms big enough for a perfect visibility. So overall view out is very, very good. The seats again are soft, but i think for my liking.
They are a bit too soft long distances. Can be a bit of an issue in these and the upholstery, even though it feels premium it doesnt really breathe. So you know you end up with a sweaty back. However, a lot of you will be sitting in the back. This is primarily for the chauffeur so lets just find out what thats like now. This is where most of you will find yourselves in the back of the e6, and the experience is well. It is comfortable because space on offer is very good. You have a good amount of legroom. Headroom is good as well. There are these large windows that bring in a lot of light, but the seats cannot be changed as in you cannot recline them. You cannot bring them forward or backward. This is the set position and you also miss out on some stuff. You know you miss out on a center armrest for more comfort. You miss out on sunshades on a sunny day like this. It is a bit of an issue and you also have just a single ac vent in the center. Now we would have liked ac vents in the pillars as well. You know it helps cool the cabin that much faster and its a bit more practical as well. In terms of storage again, there is not much on offer the seats dont have pockets in them. You dont really have you know place to keep your knick knacks.
Of course you do have some bottle holders, but again, very very narrow and access is difficult. So it is not the best in terms of experience back here, but in terms of space it is not a problem at all and speaking of space, the boot again is humongous. You have 580 liters, so all your luggage and cargo can stay on now. The thing is that the e6 is a five seater mpv, that extra space is for the boot. If there would have been an extra row in the back there, wouldnt have been space for luggage and given the target audience that the e6 has, i think, a boot space is far more usable than an extra row of seats because in terms of airport transfers, you Talk about government officials, you talk about any fleet activity, you have to have a considerable boot space, and this is the only way to get it. The biggest reason that i am in the front seat of the a6 is the range now they have some big claims, because it is a 71.7 kilowatt battery pack, which is i mean it is one of the biggest batteries right now and it claims a range of Over 500 kilometers now that is something i really wanted to check for myself. So we got the car at 100 charge and the range was showing exactly 500 as we started, i reset the trip it was at zero. Now weve covered around 34 kilometers and the range is 475, so i mean it is working pretty accurately.
What helps it further is the region as well. You know it gets two modes of regen, a higher region and a lower region. You can see the system at work in the screen right here and overall, that range anxiety, that was the biggest reason of evs, is sort of subdued because of this massive 500 kilometer range and because the e6 is mainly a fleet car. That big range is of huge importance: Music as the day went by, we covered over 150 kilometers, and the range then was still hovering around the 345 kilometer mark. So the 500 kilometer number is quite realistic sure with a full load, it will drop a bit, but you still get a very strong range and that will attract fleet owners for their inter city commutes. Now the other thing important on an mpv on a commercial mpv is the ride quality because youre going to be carrying people all the time. Right. Comfort is something that is important and the e6 is not too bad. You know, bump absorption is good. The suspension setup is nice as well on our broken patches. The suspension works really well, you know you dont feel the harshness come into the cabin and as the speed gains highway. Stability is again very, very good, so you know youd never really feel out of control. You feel nice and stable, nice and planted, and that is a big plus again because, like i said it is going to be doing inter city commutes and that highway stability is very important now.
The other big thing on the e6 is the recharging, and the big advantage that vyd have is that the e6 can be charged on dc power for as much as you want, because you dont really have to alternate between ac and dc. It can take dc charging throughout its lifetime. The 60 kilowatt hour dc charger takes just 90 minutes from zero to 100 percent, but can also be used to gain a quick top up of over 200 kilometers in 35 minutes. However, if you have space constraints, there is also the option of a 40 kilowatt ac wall box charger that is available on the higher glx trim of the e6. The gl, which only gets dc compatibility, is a tad cheaper in price, but with the ac wall box, you do save up on a lot of space and rent in comparison. However, there is also an option of a 6.6 kilowatt hour, slow charger now again for fleet owners. It doesnt really make sense to keep their cars overnight on charge, so i think it is the ac and the dc that are going to be used the most in terms of cost. It takes 76 units to fully charge the 71.7 kilowatt battery pack from 0 to 100, so the price will be varied depending on the cost of per unit in your city. Byd also are confident about the battery, which is why you get an 8 year and 5 lakh kilometer warranty, which is much higher than some of the luxury evs out there.
Now, to sum it up, the byd e6 does have its strengths. It has that nice roomy cabin, it gets a big boot space for all your luggage and cargo, and it of course gets the 500 kilometer range on a single charge, but it is priced at rupees, 29.6 lakh, and that is rather steep. However, byd say that it is in the long run that you end up saving money.