The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opened to the public on Tuesday in Las Vegas. China's electric car manufacturer Byton unveiled a production version of its M-Byte vehicle for the historic expo.
The M-Byte shows Byton's plan to challenge the electric vehicle industry with its massive 48-inch wraparound digital dashboard screen, which can display photos, weather, sports scores, stock prices and directions, all while providing the option to display multiple items at once.
Early on, Byton also announced a developer's program to enable innovators to create applications to increase in-car experience, centered on their new 48-inch display. They are openly looking for offerings in the areas of entertainment, health, productivity, and e-commerce for the in-car display.
Global partnerships were also announced, including: ViacomCBS and Access for an in-car theater experience; Aiquido for voice control of apps; CloudCar, providing a cloud-based infrastructure; AccuWeather, offering real time weather updates; Road.Travel for online trip booking and XPERI for digital HD Radio.
M-Byte starts at a 45,000 USD asking price and provides a 250-mile range. The company aims to secure a front-row place in the industry – and upgrade the potential driving experience for EV customers.
In addition, Byton hopes to take after electric carmaker Tesla, which has three electric vehicles for sale, according to Dr. Daniel Kirchert, CEO and co-founder of Byton.
''I know from talking with customers from all over the world, the market is ready,'' Kirchert said. “In a world where Tesla has prominently taken its place during the past years, people are constantly saying they are ready for an alternative option as they search for a new premium electric vehicle.”
Tesla has a great advantage in the industry with its nationwide Supercharger network. On the other hand, Byton has chosen to partner with Electrify America, the biggest DC Fast Charging network in the US. Moreover, Byton plans to present its car batteries as an option for home backup power. Over the years, batteries lose total capacity and range. When they reach the half-way life of their original capacity, the car owner may want to buy a new battery. Meanwhile the old battery can be put into a home 'power wall' (Tesla also presents this option with Powerwall). This provides a day or two of backup power for blackouts.
In fact, Tesla's EVs are not the only competitors for Byton's M-Byte at CES 2020. Many other EVs – such as Fiat's Concept Centoventi, the Fisker Ocean, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Mercedes-Benz's ECQ are also present at the show.
Although the total EV sales are increasing, total sales of non-Tesla battery electric vehicles were just 50,000 unit in the US in 2018. Therefore, in order to have a high profile in the industry, companies need to come up with innovative solutions to increase the driving experience.
Founded in 2016, Byton set up a manufacturing base and a research and development center in Nanjing, and established offices in Munich, Germany, and Silicon Valley, as well as the United States.
With its 48-inch display & in-car entertainments, plus a team of executives from the US, Europe and Asia – and solid funding – Byton may well be one of the EV manufacturers in a saturated industry with staying power.