BYD e6Enlarge Photo
BYD, a company struggling to sell its e6 electric crossover in its home market, has decided it won't be sold at all to private customers in the U.S.
Instead, says the ChinaEV blog, the e6 will be a fleet-only vehicle in the U.S, as the company instead concentrates on its electric bus sales in North America.
BYD, which stands for 'Build Your Dreams', makes a range of vehicles in the Asia-Pacific market, from compact cars right up to commercial vehicles and buses.
The company recently announced those projects may be coming to an end, as it seeks to stem falling profits by putting more effort into hybrid and electric vehicles.
Such cars aren't selling well just yet in China, but by focusing on electrified vehicles BYD hopes to get the jump on its competitors--a risky move in the electric-skeptic Chinese market.
The e6 electric crossover will be part of those plans, but any hopes the vehicle would be available for private purchase in the U.S. have now fallen through, at least for the time being. Instead, says BYD's Stella Li, the company will focus on taxi fleets.
Li added that BYD does want to sell cars to consumers "in the next several years" in the U.S, but it's unclear what these might be. If the e6 has been ruled out, and BYD goes ahead with its plans to remove regular gasoline vehicles from its lineup, one of BYD's upcoming hybrid models is a possibility.
Mass transit is the company's main focus.
At least one U.S. company has already complained that Long Beach intends to use Chinese electric buses for its transit service, but BYD countered by saying the bus would be produced in the U.S.
True to form, BYD recently held an opening event for its Lancaster plant in California, where the electric buses are to be produced. While the battery cells are imported from China, assembly and several other components are sourced from American companies.
For most Americans then, their first taste of BYD's products won't be behind the wheel, but as a passenger in its electric buses and taxis.