BYD D1 is a very interesting electric MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) made in cooperation with Didi Chuxing (DiDi) that gets a cobalt-free LFP battery.
With a sliding door on the right and two normal doors on the left this is an electric vehicle especially made for families with kids and ride-hailing services.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, the company that bought Uber’s China business in 2016 will use this model.
(Beijing, November 16, 2020) – Didi Chuxing (DiDi), the world’s leading mobile transportation and local services platform, today unveiled D1, the world’s first electric vehicle custom-built for ride-hailing. Co-developed with BYD Company Limited (BYD), the world’s largest EV manufacturer, the D1 cars will start rolling out to DiDi’s leasing partners in major Chinese cities in the coming months.
For a compact car, D1 comes with a L2 Assisted Driving system with above-the-grade manufacturer safety set-ups, including Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Pedestrian Collision Warning (PCW).
These features are combined with DiDi’s ride-hailing safety innovations, including a complete Driver Monitoring System (DMS), a steering wheel with safety alerts and response functions, and an AI voice and video monitoring and analysis system that uses DiDi’s facial and object recognition technology. The DiDi Mobility Safety System, developed between 2018 and 2020 when the company invested over RMB 5 billion in a safety revamp, has been operationally tested on hundreds of thousands of DiDi cars.
Dubbed the “DiDi Smart Driver”, D1 carries an all-in-one driver assistance system that interacts with the human driver through a dashboard pad, an on-board voice assistant and the smart steering wheel. The Smart Driver integrates the full ride-hailing service flow from driver verification, pickup and drop-off, to payment and customer service. Its energy management function offers real-time recharging and maintenance support. At 12.8 kwh/100 km, D1 has the highest energy efficiency level among its peers.
BYD D1 specs
- Length: 4.390 mm
- Width: 1.850 mm
- Height: 1.650 mm
- Mass: 2.015 kg
- Curb weight: 1.640 kg
- Max speed: 130 km/h (81 mph)
- Range (NEDC): 418 km (260 miles)
- Consumption (NEDC): 12,8 kWh/100 km
- Battery energy density: 140 Wh/kg
- Battery type: LFP BYD Blade Battery
- Motor: 100 kW with 180 N.m of torque
In a more realistic test cycle such as the WLTP, the range would be around 310 km (193 miles) and the consumption around 17 kWh/100 km.
I can’t find the battery capacity, but it seems to be 47,5 kWh, which is standard in BYD models with Blade Battery that are smaller than the BYD Han EV.
The BYD D1 seems to have all it takes to be successful and the similarities with the Volkswagen ID.3 are obvious. Considering the close ties BYD has with Volkswagen, I think that both automakers worked together in this model.
Since the Volkswagen ID.3 is aimed for the European market alone and won’t be sold in other important electric car markets such as China or North America, selling the BYD D1 in China won’t harm Volkswagen’s sales.
Therefore I don’t think that BYD will ever export this model to Europe, but North America could be a possibility…
Update: it seems that Volkswagen will eventually make the ID.3 a world-class electric car, just like the ID.4.
Anyway, it would be nice if in return Volkswagen made a version of the ID.3 with a 47,5 kWh cobalt-free BYD Blade Battery to sell in Europe. Don’t you think?