BYD Wants To Squash Range Anxiety With 1200-Mile PHEVs

BYD’s fifth-generation plug-in hybrid platform may enable its cars to achieve somewhat of a transcontinental range, reports from China indicate. BYD’s DM (dual-mode) plug-in hybrid system, which debuted in 2008 and has continuously evolved since, could offer a range of more than 1,200 miles.

Sources familiar with the matter said the new platforms are part of a “liberation battle” over the next three years, and BYD’s core management will “mobilize all of its strength,” Cnevpost reported.

Get Fully Charged

BYD is on a new offensive.

BYD is the world’s largest BEV maker. It sold more EVs than Tesla in 2023, and it is showing no signs of stopping as far as innovation is concerned. That’s despite the few months of EV sales slowdown global markets have witnessed lately.

The DM system has two variants: efficiency-focused DM-i, and performance-oriented DM-p. The former would likely get the big upgrade.

The report indicates that the new system could enable a fuel efficiency of 2.9 liters (0.7 gallons) per 62.1 miles. That’s far lower than BYD’s estimate for the current Song Plus DM-i PHEV, which delivers 5.1 liters (1.3 gallons) per 62.1 miles.

These figures were likely calculated using the overly optimistic CLTC cycle. EPA standards in the U.S. are far stricter, if not exactly real-world.

The Song Plus DM-i, based on a fourth-generation platform, gets a 1.5-litre gas engine that can produce 110 horsepower. It’s paired with a 197 hp electric motor, powered by either 8.3-kilowatt-hour or 18.3 kWh battery pack options. The combined range is estimated to be up to 715 miles on the CTLC.

The battery capacity and fuel tank sizes are unclear for the fifth-generation system. But the 1200-mile range would presumably need a significantly larger battery and/or fuel tank.

Some rival PHEVs, like the SAIC-GM-Wuling Xingguang, have a combined range of just 683 miles. The Geely Galaxy L6 has a combined range of 851 miles.

Along with the DM system, BYD may also upgrade its pure EV platforms—they’re both expected to debut at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2024.

BYD BEVs use the 3.0 e-Platform, and the next-generation models are expected to ride on the more advanced 4.0 e-Platform with optimized interior space, fewer components, and significant weight savings.