Chinese-owned Byton plans to begin rolling out its first EV, the mByte, later this year, starting in China, and then following up with the U.S. and other parts of the world. It has now outlined plans for its European debut.
- The mByte is a long-range, all-electric SUV whose most distinguishing feature is a 48-inch video dashboard.
- Byton claims it already has received 65,000 advance reservations worldwide.
- It will launch in the U.S. and Europe next year.
Byton is nothing if not ambitious, the automaker planning to enter most of the world’s major markets by late 2021, starting this year with a Chinese roll-out.
In the U.S., it plans to target selective regional markets first. And it will follow the same strategy in Europe, the automaker announcing plans to start out in six countries: Switzerland, Germany, Norway, France, Netherlands and Sweden. Another six markets will be added in a “second wave,” according to Byton Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Schaaf. The first “Byton Place” dealership will open in Zurich during the second quarter of 2021.
Byton CEO Daniel Kirchert formally announced global roll-out plans during the recent CES. (Photo: Byton)
Only one retail partner will represent each individual national market, he added, including Hedin Automotive in Norway. The strategy aims to make those retailers “feel very responsible for the success of Byton,” Schaaf explained.
While showrooms will be relatively rare, the automaker has lined up a much larger network of service and repair shops to minimize hassles for buyers. It will offer services like pickup and repair when an mByte needs to go into the shop.
As it has already done in the U.S., Byton is lining up a deal with a European charging network, working with Germany’s Digital Charging Solutions. It has not yet decided if free charging will be part of the deal, as it will be for American customers, however.
The mByte is expected to start around 45,000 euros, though a variety of different range and power packages will be offered.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Byton is intent on becoming the next Tesla, but it doesn’t plan to take nearly as long to roll out globally as did the California EV manufacturer.