Nexport, the company that plans to link up drivers directly with China EV maker BYD to sell its range of electric vehicles “direct-to-consumer”, has nabbed its first large scale EV order which will be made available to Uber drivers.
The order for 3,000 electric vehicles is mostly from vehicle subscription company Splend – and it the largest EV order of its kind to date in Australia, which has lagged international uptakes of EVs and has little more than 20,000 EVs in the country.
Nexport’s memorandum of understanding with Splend, which says it is the UK and Australia’s largest supplier of hire vehicles to ride share giant Uber, will see the fleet of BYD electric cars substantially increase the number of EVs on Australian roads.
Nexport says the fleet will be supplied starting early 2022, but did not give a timeframe for completing the fleet.
It also has not specified which BYD electric models will be supplied under the deal. It is known that Nexport intends to make up to five models available for import including a $A35,000 hatch known as the EA1 (a more advanced version of the previously reported e2 according to Nexport CEO Luke Todd).
Word is that staff attending Sydney’s Smart Energy expo last week were showing a video of the EA1 alongside the premium BYD Han, one vehicle of which is already in Australia for evaluation purposes.
Nexport also has a small fleet of right-hand drive BYD electric taxis on the road in Sydney, which were fitted with special isolation “capsule” system alongside a “Zero Contact, Zero Emissions” campaign and launched during the peak of Covid lockdown in the harbour city.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.