This year hasn’t been easy for Chinese automaker BYD, thanks to abysmal performance on the Chinese stock-market, accusations of copyright infringement and a launch schedule that it just can’t seem to keep to.
But over the summer the automaker has been busy, trying to turn its reputation around and updating improving some of its vehicles in order to make them more appealing to both the Chinese domestic and U.S. markets.
Among them is its E6 electric crossover. Currently only available to fleets -- where it has primarily been used as an electric Taxi -- the original BYD e6 hasn't lived up to BYD’s grandiose claims, earning it some pretty damning reviews.
In order to counter these claims, BYD has given the e6 a few exterior tweaks including a redesigned grille and tail, as well as a supposedly new interior.
Named the BYD e6-B -- with the “B” standing for “Privately Buyer” -- the car still have the same basic technology underneath, making BYD’s claimed 150 mile range and 15 minute recharge seem a little far-fetched.
Looking at the shots obtained by the China Car Times, the revised BYD e6-B looks to be better prepared for the U.S. market than its predecessor, complete with a higher level of trim and reflector strips which should make it comply with U.S. automotive lighting regulations.
That’s only a tiny part of it, however. In order to be sold in the U.S., the e6-B would have to pass a whole suite of tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- not to mention ones for fuel efficiency from the Environmental Protection Agency.
In short, it’s always good to see a car get a better quality trim and a few new panels -- but until it actually passes the tests to enable it to be sold in the U.S., its redesigns are little more than a distraction from an increasingly inaccurate initial launch schedule.