Chinese EV startup Byton has taken steps to establish its foothold in the United States, entering into a partnership with the Volkswagen-backed Electrify America charging network ahead of the global launch of its M-Byte crossover.
The partnership will grant owners of Byton's M-Byte (and presumably future models) two years of unlimited complimentary 30-minute sessions at the charging network's DC fast charging stations and 60-minute charging sessions at its level 2 network.
"This next critical milestone in the company’s advance toward a US market launch in 2021 provides BYTON owners access to over 3,500 150kW+ chargers at over 800 Electrify America locations across the U.S. projected by the end of 2021," Electrify America said in its Wednesday announcement.
Byton announced Monday that it has established a corporate presence in the United States. The company has incorporated two LLCs—Byton Americas, LLC and Byton Cars California, LLC—and was granted both distributor and dealer licenses by the state of California.
"This Electrify America partnership aligns with our global strategy, in prelude to other major announcements to come," said Byton Chief Customer Officer Dr. Andreas Schaaf. "We continue to lay a solid foundation for a successful North American launch of the BYTON M-Byte committing to the US and its customers."
Infrastructure accessibility will be critical for Byton if it hopes to successfully penetrate the American EV market. With an expected $45,000 price tag, the M-Byte is aiming for the meat of the EV market. Electrify America's first phase targeted urban areas for station deployment; its second phase will add more stations to the U.S. highway and interstate network.
Byton hopes to deliver its first customer cars to America by the middle of 2020, with deliveries starting in Europe later that year. The first production cars should reach its home-market customers before the end of December—if all goes to plan.