The Chinese electric car company Byton has brought their first vehicle with a hitherto unique giant display in the cockpit to series maturity. At the IAA in Frankfurt (public days: 12 to 22 September) Byton showed the production model of the SUV M-Byte.
First Cars will be delivered in 2020
The first vehicles are to be delivered in China in mid-2020, said Byton CEO Daniel Kirchert. The first half of 2021 is followed by the USA and Europe.
The deliveries should begin three months later than originally planned. At the same time, the car should now be launched in Europe at the same time as the US and not afterwards. “This has nothing to do with the trade dispute, but we see that now in Europe, the mail goes off,” said Kirchert. That was not foreseeable two or three years ago.
In the US Byton would be affected by the current state of an additional duty of 30 percent. Although the 2021 should still be the case, Byton would stick to a market entry, said Kirchert. It would then sell fewer vehicles, “but the product would still have a market, even with the higher price”. The M byte is to cost 45,000 euros before VAT.
Byton benefits from the turnaround to electromobility
Byton is one of several new providers that benefit from the transition to electric mobility. The company received a lot of attention right from the start because it was founded by former BMW managers – and for the unusual interior concept. The display with a diagonal of 48 inches (almost 122 cm), which practically extends from door to door, made it from the prototype into the production model. Such eye-catchers are often lost in the industry on the way from the concept car to the production model. Byton had to reduce the touchscreen in the steering wheel from seven to eight inches to fit the airbag.
Display of the Byton is running Android
On the large display runs the left side with displays for the driver with the operating system QNX, which is often used in cars because of its stability. The right part with navigation and infotainment system, however, is operated with the open source version of the Google operating system Android for automotive applications. Byton has no plans to support Google and Apple’s smartphone connectivity platforms – Android Auto and CarPlay. There would be problems with the screen size resolution, said digital systems manager Jeff Chung. That’s why there have to be special versions of apps for the Byton cars.
Byton wants to come to a production of 100 000 cars per year, in which the company according to own calculations reaches the profit zone, 2021. The factory in China has a total production of 300,000 vehicles. Byton also inspected a production in the US in view of the trade conflict, but no steps have been taken in this direction, said Kirchert.