The BYD E6 is a football. No, not a political one like the Chevy Volt. Rather, it is the pigskin that the cartoon character Lucy would hold in place, but then snatch away when Charlie Brown's ever-hopeful foot was in mid-swing.
BYD has, yet again, placed an example of its all-electric e6 crossover on display at an American auto show and is, once more, teasing us with promises of bringing it to the U.S. market. This time, for reals. Yeah, we've heard similar claims about 2010, which were then changed to 2011. Then shifted to 2012 and, later, mid-2012.
Now, BYD USA president Michael Austin says that the vehicle will be certified for sale in the U.S. before the end of the year and, after first being made available to fleets such as Hertz (with whom BYD already has a relationship), will be offered for sale to consumers. There is, however, one slight caveat. He also mentioned that would only happen when the charging network is further developed.
Apparently, the company doesn't believe that charging infrastructure in the U.S. has evolved to the point where the E6, with its 186-mile estimated range, is yet practical for buyers. This was, if you'll recall, also last year's stated excuse for the delays. While it it tempting to point out that the 73-mile Nissan Leaf has sold over 11,000 units in the past year and so this is really a poor pretense, we will refrain.
Instead, we will point to the fact the BYD actually has an American headquarters and remind ourselves that we've spoken to at least one dealer who has one on hand for prospective buyers to check out. We can't help but wonder though if, by the time it goes on sale, the BYD vehicle will actually be branded a Denza.