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BYD steals MG Motor’s cheap EV crown

New BYD e6 arrives on Aussie soil from $39,999 plus on-road costs with 520km range

18 Oct 2021

MG MOTOR’S reign as the provider of Australia’s most-affordable electric vehicle is over, with the first 15 examples of BYD’s e6 wagon having just landed Down Under, priced from $39,999 plus on-roads, or as little as $40,968.10 driveaway depending on what state it is purchased in.

Even in Western Australia, where the driveaway price is at its highest ($43,268.09), the e6 undercuts the MG ZS EV’s $44,490 driveaway sticker by more than $1000.

In a double blow for MG, the e6 also thrashes the ZS EV in terms of driving range with the newcomer offering up 520km on a single charge (based on the WLTP testing cycle) whereas the established SUV can only cover 263km.

The secret to the e6’s colossal range – for the price – is its 71.7kWh ‘Blade battery’ developed and produced in-house by BYD, which drives a front axle-mounted electric motor that develops 70kW/180Nm.

For comparison, the ZS EV’s electric motor scores backs a few points with a much more substantial 105kW/353Nm peak output rating.

The e6 be charged using both AC and DC (the latter up to 60kW, 10kW more than the MG).

No 0-100km/h time is quoted by BYD, though it has confirmed a 130km/h top speed.

Visually, the overall package resembles a slightly taller, wagon version of Hyundai’s aging Ioniq small car with an uncannily similar front fascia design, save for the contrasting grille insert colour on the Korean.

Under the skin is a McPherson strut front suspension set-up and a multi-link rear, with the body measuring 4695mm long, 1810mm wide and 1670mm tall on a 2800mm wheelbase.

Disc brakes feature in all four corners behind standard alloy wheels.

Inside the cabin are leather seats, a rotating infotainment display and a rotary drive selector among, while locking and unlocking is taken care of by a smart key.

Announcing the e6’s arrival on Aussie soil via LinkedIn, True Green Group chief executive Luke Todd said the “EV revolution is here”.

Distributed in Australia by EV Direct, the e6 will be followed by the Yuan Plus compact SUV, pre-orders for which will open next month ahead of first deliveries in the second quarter of 2022 – local pricing and specs are yet to be announced.

EV Direct also sells the BYD T3 electric van that has a 300km WLTP range and 700kg payload, priced from $35,950 before on-road costs.

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