China’s BYD Reveals Electric Supercar Capable Of 218 Miles Per Hour

Chinese carmaker BYD has unveiled its first all-electric supercar model, capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in just 2.36 seconds. With a top speed of 309.19 kilometers (218 miles) per hour, the vehicle can rack up speeds faster than some models of Ferrari and Lamborghini – but it runs on electricity, no gas required. 

Known as the U9 model, the car is being released under BYD’s high-end sub-brand called YANGWANG. All being well, deliveries are expecting start in summer 2024 with a price tag of 1.68 million yuan (around $233,400).

The YANGWANG U9 packs 1,300 horsepower and a maximum torque of 1,680 Newton–meters. Like many supercars of this ilk, the vehicle features a cabin made from carbon fiber, a strong but super-light material  

With this immense power, overheating can be an issue for an electric motor. To overcome this, BYD says the U9 has “fine-tuned its thermal management system to better resist high temperatures”. This includes up to 12 aerodynamic features that are designed to enhance heat dissipation, as well as reduce drag.

Another shot of BYD’s YANGWANG U9
Image credit: BYD

China’s electric car market is booming. The country accounted for 35 percent of global electric vehicle exports in 2022 and their fortunes continued to rise throughout 2023. 

Founded in 1995 as a rechargeable battery maker, BYD has risen to become one of the major players in this scene. In Q4 2023, they managed to sell more electric vehicles than Tesla, which was previously considered to be the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world.

While much of their sales are in China, BYD and other Chinese manufacturers are looking to expand globally, despite foreign trade restrictions. The US is thinking about raising tariffs on some Chinese goods, including EVs, while the European Union (EU) recently launched a probe into Chinese-made electric vehicles to see whether they benefited from “illegal subsidization”. It could be that carmakers in “the West” are starting to feel the pressure. 

Chinese carmakers are denying the allegations from the EU and claim their success is down to their unique technology and style of management, not illegal government handouts. 

“Our success is not because of the subsidy, it’s because we have unique technology… and our management efficiency is high,” Michael Shu, European president of BYD, told the Financial Times this week.

“It’s because we invested in this technology much earlier, and much more, than competitors. It’s not because of the subsidy,” Shu added.

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