On January 5, BYD’s new luxury electric vehicle brand Yangwang, which had been promoted by the firm for a long time, was officially unveiled. During a media event, the new U8 sports utility vehicle and U9 pure electric supercar were shown, but their specific time to be released on the market, as well as their prices, have not been announced yet.
According to Wang Chuanfu, the chairman of Shenzhen-based BYD, all models under the Yangwang brand will be equipped with a brand-new technology platform called “e⁴,” whose technical prototype appeared in the ET concept car released by BYD 20 years ago. When BYD produced its 3 millionth new energy vehicle, Wang called e⁴ a “subversive technology.”
e⁴ is a power system with four motors driving independently as the core, breaking through a limitation whereby fuel vehicles can only output power in one direction. Each motor can independently control each wheel and output positive and negative torque at will, thus realizing independent driving, braking, forward and backward of a single wheel.
Under this technical platform, Yangwang’s vehicles can realize the function of turning around in situ by applying reverse and equal torque to the left and right wheels. The independent positive and negative torque output capability of the quad-motor drive technology allows the vehicle to brake from 100 km/h in 40 meters and steer at less than 12 meters.
Wang Chuanfu pointed out that even in extreme cases such as tires bursting or falling into water, e⁴’s technical ability can avoid secondary accidents to the greatest extent and can get rid of difficulties. The peak power of a single motor in the electric drive assembly system of the e⁴ platform is 220-240kW. The platform is capable of delivering a maximum motor speed of 20,500 rpm, giving the vehicle more than 1,100 horsepower.
In terms of electronic control, all models with the e⁴ platform come standard with a new generation of silicon carbide, with maximum efficiency of 99.5%. With higher computing power and control speed, the current output capacity has been increased by 50%.
The release event did not involve the U8 and U9 very much. The U8 is more than 5 meters long and 2 meters wide, capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 4 seconds. The U9, on the other hand, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds. The price of both cars is over one million yuan.
Next, Yangwang will set up experience centers in Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities from the first quarter of this year. BYD previously revealed that a completely independent sales channel will be provided for Yangwang. For BYD, marching into the high-end market is a brand-new challenge. Its luxury brand Denza sold 6,002 vehicles in December last year, an increase of 73.9% from the previous month. Wang Chuanfu said that Denza and Yangwang will promote BYD’s development and consolidate its voice in the luxury vehicle market.
According to Ping An of China Securities, in 2021, the average price of BYD’s vehicle was about 150,000 yuan, and in the first half of 2022, this figure increased to about 170,000 yuan. In the second half of 2022, with an increase in the proportion of high-priced models such as Han and Seal, it was expected that BYD’s average vehicle price would see further increases.