New BYD electric van set to launch before end of 2020

  • Chinese carmaker BYD to launch commercial vehicle range
  • Includes all-electric panel van, plus larger trucks
  • Van has similar size and appearance to Nissan e-NV200

BYD electric van - set to go on sale in 2020

Chinese car brand BYD is expanding into Europe, and as part of that plan it intends to launch a new range of electric commercial vehicles in the region by the end of 2020.

BYD’s new LCV and eTrucks proposals – which follow on from existing eBus and eCoach models, already available in some parts of Europe – include 7.5-tonne and 19-tonne rigid distribution trucks, a yard tractor and, of most interest to us, a fully electric panel van.

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Who or what is BYD, and what’s it got to do with electric vehicles?

BYD describes itself as one of the largest privately owned Chinese enterprises, and a ‘world leader in new energy vehicles and the forerunner in the development of battery technology.’

It’s just in the process of launching a new BEV (battery electric vehicle) SUV called the Tang, starting with a trial launch in Norway. And before you ask why Norway, it’s because the country – grown extremely rich on oil reserves – is exceptionally keen on electric vehicles.

So where does the new BYD electric van come into this?

Assuming the Norwegian Tang trial goes well, BYD says plans are already underway to bring a full range of battery electric vehicles for the commercial sector to Europe – this includes the panel van pictured above, as well as rigid trucks and a yard tractor (badly photoshopped), below.

BYD electric yard tractor - 2020

There are no technical details of the BYD electric van at this stage, although it’s hard not to notice the striking resemblance to the Nissan e-NV200. This suggests it will be a small van, in terms of size and carrying capacity, something that being referred to as a ‘2.6-tonne van’ – presumably its gross vehicle weight (GVW) – would support.

If the BYD Tang SUV is anything to go by, the driving range and performance of the new electric van could be a strong selling point. The Tang EV600 is apparently capable of 373 miles per charge.

The van will need to leave room for plenty of payload, though, so we’re expecting a smaller battery pack to be fitted here.

It will need to offer upwards of 150 miles of driving range to look competitive against the latest electric van rivals, however, which includes the Vauxhall Vivaro-e with its 205-mile range, and the eDeliver 3 from Chinese brand Maxus (formerly known as LDV).

When does the BYD electric van go on sale and what does it cost?

No firm word on either of these yet – though it should be on sale in Europe before the end of 2020 we’re waiting for confirmation that Europe still includes the UK as far as BYD’s intentions go. We’d be surprised if it didn’t, given we typically buy a lot of vans here, but will let you know once there’s an official statement on this.

Pricing we expect to be highly competitive versus other electric vans, but perhaps mpre expensive compared with an equivalent diesel.

More as soon as we have it.

Also read:

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

>> The best electric vans you can buy now

>> Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van with 205-mile driving range

>> Maxus eDeliver 3 electric van – all the official details

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