Paul’s wife Lyn has a red Tesla Model 3 SR +, similar to ours (affectionately known as “Tess”). Just to annoy her, he decided to buy a BYD electric car. They have had some great conversations comparing the two cars and we joined in the fun.
The BYD e6 is quite eye-catching – for once, there were more people interested in another EV even when right next to a Tesla. The e6 styling is quite different to other cars on the road, dragon accents perhaps. It distinctly says “I am a Chinese car.” BYD does not have to pretend to be anything else.
We did test drives and photo shoots, even entertaining the locals with a lightshow duet on the foreshore near Golden Beach on the Sunshine Coast thanks to the latest Tesla holiday update.
Paul’s plan is to start with the e6 – importer EV Direct’s first foray into the Australian EV market – and then purchase a BYD Yuan Plus, and then move all the way up to a dual-motor premium Han electric sedan. Now, that will be an interesting comparison with the wife’s car.
What the BYD e6 has got that my Tesla certainly hasn’t is “snow mode.” No idea how it would handle in the snow – but it was great for getting it out of the sand when Paul bogged it at the end of the boat ramp. A very polite oriental voice reminds you not to leave your keys inside, when you shut the (quite substantial) door.
The BYD also has a spare tyre. Well done.
Can you buy one? Sadly no, BYD has imported 15 only and now decided they will be importing different models. Hopefully the Dolphin (also known as an EA1, but likely to be called something entirely different when it arrives) will be here in February. Paul may have a collector’s item with his e6.
My thoughts on driving the car were that it reminded me of the 60’s Valiant, very spacious and very solid. It kind of had the same brakes and acceleration also. The regen didn’t appear to slow the car much. Perhaps I am too used to the Tesla – where I very rarely use the brakes.
“How quickly can the e6 get to 100kph?” I asked. “No idea,” he said – so we timed it going down the road. 15 seconds.
Paul pointed out three negatives that will likely be rectified on newer models – the car does not come with navigation or cruise control. The display screen is not bright enough, even after it has been adjusted.
And three positives – he loves the size of the vehicle, large and loud, and the air conditioning that you have to turn down, it’s that good. That luggage area you could hold a party in and another item it does have that the wife’s Tesla doesn’t is the alert noise it makes under 30km per hour.
I found a couple of very retro components in my exploration – the driver’s seat adjustment mechanism under the seat is similar to that on my 1964 Wolseley, as is the bonnet catch. Brought back fond memories.
The e6 did not come with a charger or charge cable. Paul has ordered a gen 3 Tesla charger so he can charge both his cars from the same charger; so far it has not arrived after almost a month of waiting. He is not impressed with the service Tesla has given.
But he loves the solid spaciousness of his e6 – “A great family car,” says Lyn.
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired school teacher who continues to provoke thought through his writing. He divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla.