You’ve probably heard of Geely and Chery, even Haval or Great Wall (GWM), these are some big Chinese manufacturers in this country. Geely is tied up with Proton and together they’re making some kind of buzz in domestic automotive industry. Up pops a Chinese car brand called BYTON, headquartered in Nanjing. Regionally, Byton has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The company even got a U.S. headquarters in the Silicon Valley and a Concept & Design center in Europe.
In their first appearance at a major Motor Show, Byton showcases the M-Byte electric car at the Frankfurt show. The display at the IAA is an Electric Blue Byton Crossover, with all the elements of an SUV . As the first start-up model, the M-Byte will go into production at its Chinese manufacturing plant. With an entry price starting at 45,000 Euros, the company aims to make the M-Byte an affordable EV for the masses.
The M-Byte advocates big space within, spearheaded by the innovative M-Byte cockpit, centered around a 48-inch curved Display. It’s deemed the world’s largest in automotive industry. In fulfilling its promise of implementing a user-centric operating philosophy, the user is able to interact with the display via several available options: a 7-inch driver tablet, an 8-inch co-driver tablet, gesture control, voice commands (Alexa) and regular switches.
What’s powering the Byton M-Byte EV?
The Byton M-Byte is available with a 72 kWh battery (360 km WLTP range) and as extended version with 95 kWh (460 km). The rear wheel drive version offers 200 kW of power. The 4WD comes with an additional 150 kW front e-motor. AC charging is up to 22 kW, while DC fast charging is up to 150 kW. That allows recharging 100 km of range in a competitive 10 minutes.
The manufacturer plans to start production for the Chinese market by mid=2020. Pre-orders in Europe and North America start in 2020, followed by market entry 2021.
In business terms, the Chinese brand is about to close its $500 million fundraising from potential investor FAW Group and the industrial investment fund Nanjing municipal government.