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First zero-emission private hire fleet in London

Tue, 11 Feb 2014

You may not have heard of BYD, but it’s the world’s biggest rechargeable battery manufacturer. It also has the largest global market share for mobile phone chargers and keypads.

Interesting stuff, but why is this is of interest to MSN Cars? Well back in 2003, the Chinese company branched out into the automotive sector. Five years later, billionaire Warren Buffett invested $232 million for a 9.89% share in the company.

On Bing: see pictures of the BYD e6

Find out how much a used electric car costs on Auto Trader

Today it’s the fastest-growing Chinese automotive company, manufacturing dual mode and pure electric models. And – thanks to British private hire company, Thriev – there’s now a fleet of BYD vehicles in London.

By ordering a fleet of BYD e6s, Thriev is the first company to offer zero-emission, chauffeured vehicles to Londoners. And although the BYD e6 isn’t the most evocative name for a car, it does provide a range of 186 miles.

The 20 cars, which join two fully-electric buses already in service, can be recharged at Thriev’s depot or at one of the charging points installed by British Gas. The rapid chargers – also made by BYD – are capable of providing 80% of the e6’s charge in just 30 minutes.

Good news for London’s climate and a further step closer to Boris Johnson’s vision for the capital to become an Ultra Low Emission Zone by 2020. It also ensures that Thriev has beaten the Mayor’s 2018 deadline for all London taxis to be zero-emission capable.

Managing director of BYD Europe, Isbrand Ho:

“It is great to see our e6 on the roads of London in private hire service only a matter of weeks after we became the first manufacturer to have fully-electric buses in operation in the capital. We are delighted to be working with Thriev, which shares our vision to provide safe, reliable and efficient green transport in cities.”

It’s a small, but significant step towards Chinese cars becoming a more familiar site on Britain’s roads. Until now, our exposure to Chinese brands has been through the likes of the Great Wall pick-up.

A fleet of 20 private hire cars today. Just how many more Chinese-branded cars will be on our streets this time next year. Watch this space.

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On Bing: see pictures of the BYD e6

Find out how much a used electric car costs on Auto Trader