New BYD hybrid powertrain travels 2,000 km without filling or charging

BYD has unveiled a new hybrid powertrain capable of traveling over 2,000 kilometres without recharging or refuelling, intensifying the competition in the EV transition against Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG.

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The upgraded technology aims to further distance BYD from its legacy rivals. This new powertrain will be launched in two sedans priced under 100,000 yuan, as announced during an event live-streamed from China on Tuesday evening.

With this extended range, some of BYD’s dual-mode plug-in electric hybrid cars can cover distances equivalent to traveling from Singapore to Bangkok, New York to Miami, or Munich to Madrid on a single charge and a full tank of gas. This milestone marks BYD’s latest advancement in reducing fuel consumption since it debuted hybrids in 2008.

Based in Shenzhen, BYD has disrupted the Chinese auto market with extensive price cuts, affecting profitability. The pricing of these ultra-long-range hybrids may further intensify the price competition. BYD sold 3 million cars last year and has delivered almost 1 million vehicles this year through April. In China, one out of every two hybrids sold is a BYD, highlighting its significant revenue and profit contributions.

Globally, automakers are striving to address consumers’ range anxiety and produce environmentally friendly vehicles. Toyota also unveiled prototypes of a new generation of internal combustion engines that can run on hydrogen, gasoline, or other fuels alongside batteries on the same day as BYD’s announcement.

During the event, BYD claimed that its plug-in hybrid achieved a range of up to 2,500 kilometres in tests. Initially, these upgrades are for made-in-China cars, but exports are expected soon.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are pushing the boundaries on range to overcome consumers’ concerns about switching from gas-powered cars. BYD ceased producing fossil fuel-powered cars in early 2022 and has been increasing hybrid exports to emerging markets that lack battery charging infrastructure.

The first two vehicles featuring the long-range capabilities are mid-sized sedans — the Qin L and the Seal 06, both unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April. These models are part of BYD’s Dynasty and Ocean series, respectively.